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Ideas for Action
Health & Housing

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Healthy neighborhoods provide residents a range of housing types (single family, duplexes, and apartments) to suit their needs, and mix commercial and residential uses.  Factors related to housing that can impact health include:

  • The quality of housing, building materials and maintenance (for example safety hazards, the presence of mold, use of lead paint)
  • Exposure to pollutants or hazards from prior or adjacent land uses
  • The diversity of available housing stock
  • Affordable and universally designed housing to accommodate people of all income, ages, and abilities
  • Reducing carbon emissions, energy efficient design and housing maintenance

Click on each heading below for expanded information on ways to support healthy homes in neighborhoods throughout your community.

Enact inclusionary housing policies.

Policies and ordinances to encourage inclusionary housing support communities with residents of different income levels within the same neighborhood or development to create inclusive communities. Inclusionary policies can also provide housing close to work centers.

Offer a range of housing options.

Communities that offer multiple housing options– single-family homes, duplexes, cottages, condominiums, affordable homes for fixed-income families and seniors– provide feasible choices for renting or homeownership to residents across the income spectrum.

Provide a mix of uses – stores, offices, housing and recreation – close to transit and walking and biking facilities.

Mixed-use developments increase a neighborhood’s “social capital,” measured by whether people know their neighbors, participate in civic affairs, trust others in the community, and engage socially.

Provide healthy homes for all residents.

Ensure that homes have access to sunlight, are protected from noise and weather, and are not subject to excessive off-site impacts, including pollution, noise, vibration, odor, and glare. Support assistance programs to prevent household exposure to environmental contaminants, such as lead paint and asbestos, by supporting programs and providing incentives for their safe abatement or removal.

Encourage innovative home designs.

Support home designs that accommodate households with special needs and respond to demographic trends by providing units that accommodate large families, multiple generations, disabled residents, and include features to serve residents across their life span.

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