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“Housing is Healthcare”


That is a quote from a recent report by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) titled: “ALL IN: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.”

Homelessness is a major cause of poor health. The average American lives for 77 years. However, people who have lived in homelessness live only 50 years. See figure below for a list of chronic conditions that are more common among homeless people.

Homelessness also contributes to racial disparities. It is especially common in Latinos and African-Americans.

One of the main causes of homeless is that “The rent is too damn high.” It should not be surprising that some of the most expensive housing markets have the largest population of homelessness. Los Angeles, where I live, has the highest number of homeless in the US.

What’s the solution? USICH offers a variety of solutions. They begin by declaring that:

…housing should be treated as a human right, and that housing is health care

This sounds like a great sound bite. But what does it actually mean? How much housing is a human rights? It is clear that living in a mansion does not constitute a human right. It is important to ask what level of…

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