Is Housing a Health Insult?

Abstract: In seeking to understand the relationship between housing and health, research attention is often focussed on separate components of people’s whole housing ‘bundles’. We propose in this paper that such conceptual and methodological abstraction of elements of the housing and health relationship limits our ability to understand the scale of the accumulated effect of housing on health and thereby contributes to the under-recognition of adequate housing as a social policy tool and powerful health intervention. Housing is more than just shelter. It is a collection of components that together affect individuals’ lives—across and beyond our wealth, health, wellbeing, employment and educational opportunities. This collection of components has been usefully conceptualised (for example [4–6]) as a “housing bundle”, one that captures the housing choices, history, available resources and limitations that individuals command.
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