Housing Quality

Why is this important?

Housing quality can be defined by level of adequacy based upon numerous physical characteristics [i]. Low-income families are most likely to live in unhealthy and substandard housing and are least able to finance the repairs needed to remedy the conditions. Lack of quality housing can affect residents’ health, stability, education, employment, and well-being. Without a safe home, people can become sick or may be forced to move from place to place. As a result, employment may suffer, children may have to move from school to school, and supportive social networks are disrupted. Frequent moves may create a sense of instability or uncertainty for a household and can also be expensive and disruptive as residents readjust [ii]. For children, frequent moves during formative years can impede school performance, social skills, and behavior, and have adverse outcomes on adult health [iii, iv]. Poor housing quality can also expose residents to hazards like lead, mold, and pests, resulting in illness and serious health issues that may have lasting implications, especially for children [ii].


[i] Eggers, Frederick J. and Fouad Moumen. “American Housing Survey: Housing Adequacy and Quality as Measured by the AHS.” US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/programs-surveys/ahs/publications/HousingAdequacy.pdf

[ii] “Quality of Housing.” The Landscape. 2017. Web 31 August 2017.  http://www.thelandscapeomaha.org/Neighborhoods/Quality-of-Housing

[iii] Coley, Rebekah Levine and Melissa Kull. “Is Moving During Childhood Harmful.”  MacArthur Foundation: How Housing Matters.  https://www.macfound.org/media/files/HHM_Brief_-_Is_Moving_During_Childhood_Harmful_2.pdf

[iv] Webb. Roger, Carsten B. Pederson, Pearl L.H. Mok. “Adverse Outcomes to Early Middle Age Linked With Childhood Residential Mobility.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 51.3. 2016. http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(16)30118-0/abstract