Study finds weak evidence that interventions to boost housing affordability and stability promote better health

Weak evidence that interventions to boost housing affordability and stability promote better health
Summary of Studies of Primary Prevention of Housing Insecurity to Improve Health. Numerals refer to reference numbers corresponding to studies included in this review. We considered the Family Options Study, designated by “32-35,” as a single study described in 4 articles. The horizontal lines distinguish studies finding evidence of benefit, mixed or no evidence of association, and evidence of harm. A study was deemed to have mixed evidence for a given outcome category if the direction and/or significance of the findings differed among outcomes within the same outcome category. For the health care use category, associations with reduced use are depicted in the figure as evidence of benefit, although in some cases more use could reflect a positive change in access to health care. Magnitude of association is not depicted. Credit: JAMA Network Open (2022). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.39860

Research finds low-certainty evidence that programs such as emergency rent assistance, legal assistance with waitlist priority for public housing, long-term rent subsidies and homeownership assistance lead to positive health outcomes.

It is known that housing insecurity leads to increased risk for both homelessness and . But do interventions that prevent housing insecurity lead to improved health?

The researchers examined 26 and on interventions to mitigate housing insecurity on the health of vulnerable populations.

Existing interventions may need to be paired with other efforts to address the structural determinants of health.

"This work is a response to the increasingly clear evidence that difficulty with housing affordability and stability is common and tied to adverse health outcomes, even before someone experiences homelessness," said lead author Dr. Katherine Chen, health sciences clinical instructor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and doctoral candidate in health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

"As health care systems and insurers respond to increasing opportunities to invest in housing as a determinant of health, further research is needed to clarify where along the housing insecurity pathway interventions should focus for the most effective and equitable health impact."

The study is published in JAMA Network Open.

More information: Katherine L. Chen et al, Association of Promoting Housing Affordability and Stability With Improved Health Outcomes, JAMA Network Open (2022). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.39860

Journal information: JAMA Network Open

Citation: Study finds weak evidence that interventions to boost housing affordability and stability promote better health (2022, November 16) retrieved 4 February 2023 from
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