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Evidence-Based Resource Summary

Strength of Evidence: 
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Year Published: 

Housing Improvements for Health and Associated Socio-economic Outcomes

Description of Resource: 
Poor housing is associated with poor health. This suggests that improving housing conditions might lead to improved health for residents. This review identified 39 studies that assessed changes in health following housing improvement. The studies covered a wide range of housing improvements, such as refurbishment, rehousing, relocation, installing central heating and insulation, and providing toilets. Overall, it appears that improvements to housing conditions can lead to improvements in health. Improved health is most likely when the housing improvements are targeted at those with poor health and inadequate housing conditions, particularly inadequate heat. Area-based housing improvement programs like housing-led neighborhood renewal, which improve housing regardless of individual need, may not lead to clear improvements in housing conditions for all the houses in a neighborhood. This may explain why health improvements following these programs are not always obvious.

Evidence-Based Resource Details

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Developed By: 
Cochrane Library
Developer Type: 
Non-Federal Government
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s): 
Environmental Health
Healthy People 2020 Objectives: 
Resource Type: 
Systematic Review
Thomson H, Thomas S, Sellstrom E, Petticrew M. Housing improvements for health and associated socio-economic outcomes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2017 Oct 25];(2). doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008657.pub2. Available from: