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Humane Housing as a Vital Condition
Humane Housing is about stable, safe places to live, and living in diverse, vibrant communities that lead to full, productive lives. People are able to thrive with access to secure, consistent places to live, homes and neighborhoods that are safe from hazards, and neighborhoods that provide access to food and other basic needs, opportunity, and resources that promote healthy living.
Housing is the biggest expense for most Americans, and thus housing affordability is a significant factor in financial well-being. Housing stability, quality, safety, and affordability all affect health outcomes, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods. One’s housing situation has serious implications—either positive or negative—on almost every other aspect of life, especially among children. Access to housing is often something passed down in various ways through generations and can be difficult to gain access to otherwise. Homeownership has long been at the center of the American Dream, helping build family wealth and stable, diverse communities. Access to humane housing can determine who thrives and flourishes, and who struggles to survive.
This new report is a joint project of the CDC Foundation and Well Being Trust, coordinated with Community Initiatives and ReThink Health. The report acknowledges that we are now struggling and suffering through profound losses and ghastly experiences of systemic racism. Our resilience and humanity are being tested, yet we have the power to change course together. Communities across the country have an immense reservoir of energy, courage, and imagination. Our best hope for changing course is to organize local and national action around a single, unifying, measurable expectation: All people and places thriving—no exceptions. The report leverages the Vital Conditions for Well-Being framework to provide a "springboard" for communities in recovery and resilience that is imperative to this moment in time. Find the full report and the library of resources and tools coming out of collaborative work to developThriving Together below, and scroll on for more resources to improve humane housing in your community.
Below is an audio excerpt from a series of interviews to collect lived experience, community voices, and critical perspectives to inform content and direction in the Springboard report and touches on humane housing, specifically.
Opportunities to Improve Humane Housing
Some of the most significant opportunities are:
- Promoting community design that is human-centered, multimodal, and connects neighborhoods with resources
- Ensuring safe, affordable housing for all
- Diversifying the housing mix to meet the needs of all residents
Stories for Inspiration
Explore the stories below to read interesting, engaging content about what is happening at the state, national, and local level to improve humane housing.
Explore the data tools below to find data and related resources specifically relevant to humane housing.
Explore the resources below that outline one or more policies that specifically seek to improve humane housing.
Action & Dialogue Guides
Explore below to find replicable, actionable content that is easily adaptable and/or adoptable as a strategy to improve humane housing, as well as dialogue guides and tools for in-person and virtual dialogues.
About the Vital Conditions
Humane Housing is one of seven “Vital Conditions” that comprise the Vital Conditions for Health and Well-being framework. This is a useful framework for conceptualizing holistic well-being and the Conditions that give rise to it, as well as identifying opportunities to shift those systems and drive transformative community change and improvement. It brings together major determinants of health, exposing how parts of a multi-faceted whole work as a system to produce equitable well-being. Learn more about the framework: