Health & Homeownership

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According to the December 2016 National Association of Realtors study titled ‘Social benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing,’

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, in honor of World Health Day, let’s look at the impact homeownership has on the health of individuals and family members. Here are some of the report’s  major findings:  

  • There is a strong positive relationship between living in poor housing and a range of health problems, including respiratory conditions such as asthma, exposure to toxic substances, injuries and mental health. Homes of owners are generally in better condition than those of renters.
  • Findings reveal that increases in housing wealth were associated with better health outcomes for homeowners. 
  • Low-income people who recently became homeowners reported higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and higher perceived control over their lives. 
  • Homeowners report higher self-esteem and happiness than renters. For example, homeowners are more likely to believe that they can do things as well as anyone else, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors. 
  • Renters who become homeowners not only experience a significant increase in housing satisfaction but also obtain a higher satisfaction even in the same home in which they resided as renters. 
  • Social mobility variables, such as the family financial situation and housing tenure during childhood and adulthood, impacted one’s self-rated health. 
  • Homeowners have a significant health advantage over renters, on average. Homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health. When adjusting for an array of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing–related characteristics, the homeowner advantage is even larger at 3.1 percent.

The positive social benefits from homeownership and stable housing are compelling; homeownership boosts the educational performance of children, induces higher participation in civic and volunteering activity, improves health care outcomes, lowers crime rates and lessens welfare dependency.  

A decent and affordable place to live helps families by freeing them from physical and mental hardships and placing them on a path of new opportunity and increased confidence and self-reliance. A family’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity means they have a stable place to live and to spend time together. An affordable mortgage or small loan means they have a chance to create savings and invest in their education. A decent roof over their heads establishes home as a place that protects — instead of endangering — their health.

To check out the full report and its findings, click here!