Healthy homes lead to healthy people
Healthy and affordable housing is key to overall individual health and well-being.
Towards Healthy and Affordable Housing
In 2015, Dr. Richard Massé, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Montreal, released a report on housing for residents living on the island. The report addresses two challenges to housing: sanitary conditions and access to affordable housing.
The report highlights that access to affordable housing has deteriorated over the past 15 years. Rent for three-bedroom apartments rose 38 per cent, while the inflation rate increased by 28 per cent. For those who find housing, keeping a roof over their heads may mean cutting costs elsewhere. Unaffordable housing can cause food insecurity, leading to poor nutritional diets. In turn, unhealthy diets can lead to poor physical and mental health in adults and children, including obesity.
When it comes to sanitary homes, nearly 30 per cent of rental homes in Montreal had visible mould or water damage, and this can lead to respiratory diseases. For instance, 5,000 children suffered from asthma linked to humidity or mould in homes in 2015.
Dr. Masse reported that “Canada is the only OECD country that does not have a comprehensive national housing strategy.”
Housing is a major social determinant of health and one of four built environment domains of MUSE’s framework.
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Toward healthy and affordable housing: 2015 report of the Director of public health for Montréal Under the leadership of Richard Massé, Scientific supervision and coordination Marie-France Raynault, Project coordination Simon Tessier, 2015, 104 p.
Posted by Emilie Renahy