More than Bricks and Mortar: The Right to Healthy Housing
More than one-third of the world’s population has experienced some form of lockdown during the COVID 19 pandemic. With so many people confined to their residences, homes are taking on new roles as classrooms, business places, meeting spaces, recreational areas, and in some cases, quarantine or hospital rooms. The pandemic is highlighting the importance of housing as a place of safety and health. The physical environment impacts every aspect of our health and well-being, either positively or negatively. Improved housing conditions can save lives, prevent disease, increase quality of life, reduce poverty, help mitigate climate change, and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
This paper seeks to reexamine the links between housing and health from a population health perspective. It uses evidence and case studies to outline issues and identify some best practices from around the world. It concludes with recommendations for improving health and quality of life through the lens of the physical environment in which we spend most of our time.
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