Habitat for Humanity will join efforts around the world to mark World Habitat Day on Monday, October 4. World Habitat Day is a day the United Nations has set aside to call attention to the dire need for affordable, adequate housing.
When you go home to your nice, climate-controlled house today, think about some of these facts:
Housing improves health
- The number of low-income families who lack safe and affordable housing is related to the number of children who suffer from asthma, viral infections, anemia, stunted growth and other health problems.
- About 21,000 children have stunted growth attributable to the lack of stable housing; 10,000 children between the ages of 4 and 9 are hospitalized for asthma attacks each year because of cockroach infestation at home; and more than 180 children die each year in house fires attributable to faulty heating and electrical equipment. (Sandel, et al: 1999)
- Children younger than 5 living in Habitat for Humanity houses in Malawi showed a 44 percent reduction in malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared with children living in traditional houses.
- Children in poor housing have increased risk of viral or bacterial infections and a greater chance of suffering mental health and behavioral problems. (Harker: 2006)
- Housing deprivation leads to an average of 25 percent greater risk of disability or severe ill health across a person’s life span. Those who suffer housing deprivation as children are more likely to suffer ill health in adulthood, even if they live in non-deprived conditions later in life. (Marsh, et al.: 2000)
Housing has a positive impact on children
- Children of homeowners are more likely to stay in school (by 7 to 9 percent), and daughters of homeowners are less likely to have children by age 18 (by 2 to 4 percent). (Green and White: 1996)
- Owning a home leads to a higher-quality home environment, improved test scores in children (9 percent in math and 7 percent in reading), and reduced behavioral problems (by 3 percent). (Haurin, Parcel, and Haurin: 2002)
- Children who live in poor housing have lower educational attainment and a greater likelihood of being impoverished and unemployed as adults. (Harker: 2006)
Housing strengthens communities
- Homeowners are more likely to know their U.S. representative (by 10 percent) and school board head by name (by 9 percent), and are more likely to vote in local elections (by 15 percent) and work to solve local problems (by 6 percent). (DiPasquale and Glaeser: 1998)
- Homeowners are more likely to be satisfied with their homes and neighborhoods, and are more likely to volunteer in civic and political activities. (Rohe, Van Zandt, and McCarthy: 2000)
- Resident ownership is strongly related to better building security and quality, and to lower levels of crime. (Saegert and Winkel: 1998)
Read more at: http://worldhabitatdaynews.org
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