Home Sweet Home? The Impact of Poor Housing on Health
“The impact of multiple housing deprivation would appear to be the same order of magnitude as addressing the issue of smoking and the risk to health posed by multiple housing deprivation seems to be, on average, greater than that posed by excessive alcohol consumption.” Furthermore, “housing history matters,” as adults who are currently living in good housing circumstances are more likely to be ill if they experienced adverse housing conditions earlier in life. These represent some of the key findings of this study, which are particularly important within the context of the current health policy. They reinforce the need for health and welfare polices to focus on structural as well as behavioural determinants of health, and so lend weight to those initiatives outlined in Saving Lives and other recent official documents. They also reinforce the fact that the housing circumstances of children are of paramount importance. Housing deprivation was found to be a highly significant explanatory variable in relation to health, even after controlling for a range of other factors that included standard of living and genetic, social, and behavioural indices.