Initiatives

Housing & Health

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HousingForward Virginia has begun working with key partners to collect, assimilate and distribute information from relevant statewide and regional resources that inform stakeholders about their most significant community health and housing needs.

A growing body of research is making the connection between health outcomes and environmental factors like housing and neighborhoods, opening up opportunities for the housing and health sectors to work together to improve outcomes for individuals and families.

LE-Map-Richmond

In a recent study by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the impact of housing and neighborhood conditions on health is brought into focus. As depicted in the map (right), the study reveals concentrated pockets of wealth and poverty and gives us a clear picture of the stark health disparities between these communities.

Because the affordable housing sector serves some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities, it can also be used as an effective platform to address one of the key social determinants of health: where and how people live. A lack of affordable housing often leads to low income residents paying too much for housing, leaving less monthly income for health related necessities like medicine. Living in less expensive, substandard housing can also adversely affect health, resulting in conditions like asthma that is triggered by poor air quality, often brought on by mold, excessive dust and pest infestations.

If you are interested in supporting HousingForward Virginia’s housing and health programs, contact karin.sheets.va@gmail.com  for more information.


#Lead2020: Lead-Safe Homes, Healthy Families

Thanks to a grant from the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Virginia Poverty Law Center and the Richmond City Health District conducted a webinar series on lead contamination in homes from August 19th to September 9th, 2020, with the assistance of HousingForward Virginia. The goal of these events was to raise awareness about the dangers of lead contamination in homes across the Commonwealth.

The organizers hope to build a coalition that can work together towards fully abating lead from our housing stock and water systems. Panelists discussed the long-term health impacts, current policy and initiatives to address the problem, and the necessity for additional legal, financial, and structural tools to ensure that lead poisoning becomes a thing of the past.

Lead poisoning is preventable, and with your help, we can make sure no Virginia resident will have to worry about whether their home is lead-safe.

Click here to view recordings of the webinars, download slides, and more.

Connecting Housing and Health in the Williamsburg Region

This report captures the interconnections between health, housing, and community in the Williamsburg region while exploring possibilities for cultivating neighborhoods that improve the health of all residents across the socioeconomic spectrum and every stage of life. Where we live — both our individual homes and their surroundings — plays a substantial role in our well-being.

Strategies targeting the condition and affordability of housing and the characteristics of surrounding neighborhoods can be thought of as “preventative medicine.” Investments both modest and substantial can deliver benefits for current residents that save money in the long term and shape the future of the community for the generations that follow.

Click here to view our full research report on housing and health in the Williamsburg region.

Home Remedies: Connecting Housing and Health for Stronger Communities

On July 11th, 2018, HousingForward Virginia hosted a symposium on the intersection between health outcomes and housing conditions. CEOs from Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems and VCU Health Systems spoke, and our keynote was Anne De Biasi, the Director of Policy Development at Trust for America’s Health.

Click here to view slides and photos from the symposium.

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