Housing and health
20th March 2024

Housing and health equity


A stable, secure, decent, affordable home is a foundation for health. If we have a right to good health, then housing is an issue of health equity. Housing is a fundamental human right and one of the underlying key capabilities, which Amartya Sen argues, is required for opportunities to be harnessed (Sen, 1985).

The stark reality is that in Liverpool, London and other cities around the world, people are paying for precarious housing with their health. And too often, the mental and physical health of those living on low incomes from marginalised communities suffer the most.

This session, hosted by Impact on Urban Health, will explore a range of methods and approaches proposed and implemented by partners to address the issue of inadequate, precarious housing and its effect on health.

In the longer term, we need to build more decent, affordable housing, and give communities a say in where that is and what form it takes. In the short-term, precarious rented accommodation is a fact of life for people living on low incomes. With our partners, including Kineara and Cambridge House, we at Impact on Urban Health are showing that there are ways to improve the accessibility, affordability, quality and stability of tenure for homes in the private rented sector – and with it, people’s health, slowing their progression to multiple long-term conditions.

The Council on Urban Initiatives will share some examples of integrated urban design from around the world, as well as key recommendations from its paper outlining a ‘Mission-oriented and human rights-based approach to housing’ – a new framework to guide governments in bringing about more sustainable, inclusive and resilient cities. The Council’s research provides a framework and case studies for resolving the housing crisis by calling for a different approach from all levels of government, from national to local.

Learning objectives

  • To explore practical examples of how we can address housing insecurity to support better health
  • To share some examples of integrated urban design from around the world
  • To provide a framework and case studies for resolving the housing crisis


Barbara Reichwein photo
Barbara Reichwein
Programme director, Impact on Urban Health
Ricky Burdett photo
Ricky Burdett
Co-chair, Council on Urban Initiatives
Maria Morgan photo
Maria Morgan
Founder, Kineara
Joey Carr photo
Joey Carr
Representative, Safer Renting Initiative, Cambridge House

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