Housing plays an immense and complex role in shaping our physical, mental and social well-being. Access, condition, proximity to environmental hazards, and connectedness with the rest of the community are all factors that determine whether housing contributes to or detracts from human health.
Substandard housing conditions (e.g. dampness, mould, inadequate heating/cooling, pest infestations) are a subset of these factors that has been well established as contributing to adverse health effects, especially among the poor, the elderly and those living with mental illness and addiction.
Recognizing this absence, the Grey Bruce Health Unit and the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force initiated the Above Standard Housing Project (ASH) in 2014. ASH seeks in the short term to better understand the local factors that contribute to the persistence of the substandard housing conditions. In the long term, it is hoped this understanding will inform the development of strategies/initiatives that will improve and sustain housing conditions; moving from ‘substandard’ to ‘above standard’.
A recent progress report provides a review of the work in 2015 and a brief description of the activities planned for 2016.