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Health and Social Impact of Poor Housing Condition Essay

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Updated: Oct 29th, 2020


In general, many people believe that living in developed countries individuals receive an opportunity to reach the best possible benefits because these are sovereign industrialized states with advanced economy and technology. Nevertheless, this belief is not totally true, as those who do not earn much often have poor housing conditions or become homeless (Fritzell, Kangas, Hertzman, Blomgren, & Hiilamo, 2013).

As a result, these people are negatively affected, and their physical, social, and emotional well-being suffer. On the basis of this information, professionals indicate that poor housing is widely associated with poor health status. Thus, many individuals who live in developed countries have poor housing conditions that provide adverse health and social influence because of increased risks to catch communicative diseases and stress. In particular, this paper will discuss physical issues, then psychological ones, and will end with a conclusion.

Physical Issues

Those citizens who have inadequate housing are more vulnerable to various diseases and have more health issues than those who have an opportunity to live in normal accommodation. For example, poor housing is often associated with polluted air because of problems with ventilation (Fitzpatrick, 2014). As a result, the condition of those people who already have respiratory issues worsens and those who are healthy become at a higher risk of having these problems (Polyzois, Polyzoi, Wells, & Koulis, 2016).

Individuals often suffer from headaches and infectious diseases because they become weaker. It can be explained by the fact that these citizens are constantly under stress and because their homes are too cold. In addition to that, if many humans live in the same house, infections can easily spread so that each inhabitant can become ill (Adjei & Kyei, 2013). People also receive injuries because of the damaged housing and inadequately located things, which makes it difficult for them to remain positively approached.

Psychological Issues

Cheap housing in developed countries is often overcrowded, so citizens lack privacy. People are social beings, and it is good for them to live next to each other, as they receive an opportunity to communicate, share information and resources. However, when “twenty people and more live in a three-bedroom place” no positive and advantageous environment can be created (Andersen, Wiliamson, Fernando, Redman, & Vincent, 2016, p. 9).

Lacking space, they can hardly organize it, ensuring privacy and basic amenities. In this way, an opportunity to have enough sleep can hardly be obtained, and stressful situations are likely to be often faced. Moreover, it is much easier to catch a communicable disease in these conditions, especially for children who are more vulnerable and less cautious than adults (Bailie, Stevens, & McDonald, 2012). Thus, overcrowded locations make it more difficult for the population to remain healthy.

Poor housing conditions can affect people’s mental health adversely, as they do not have an opportunity to be engaged in those activities that can improve their well-being. In particular, inadequate space and neighbours’ behaviour prevent individuals from having healthy diets, being physically active at home, and inviting friends and relatives to socialize with them. Poor housing does not allow families to have strong social ties, which makes them experience a lack of support (Jones-Rounds, Evans, & Braubach, 2014).

Children often have no safe place to entertain, which puts parents under constant stress because of the necessity to pay much attention to the safety of their kids and the inability to have a required rest. Poor housing is often connected with depression and low self-esteem because humans spend much time thinking that they cannot afford to move to a better location because of financial problems (Jones-Rounds et al., 2014). Moreover, limited activity and inability to cook healthy food can lead to obesity, which also causes psychological issues making people depressed and frustrated because of their condition (Jones-Rounds et al., 2014). In this way, poor housing prevents individuals from living normal lives as they are often in a bad mood.


Thus, it can be concluded that even those citizens who live in developed countries often have no opportunity to obtain decent housing, which affects their well-being. In the majority of cases, it happens because of the lack of finances and the inability to afford an expensive house or flat. As a result, many citizens often live in inadequate housing that does not provide them with an opportunity to reach all modern conveniences and have enough space.

In addition to that, these accommodations are often overcrowded, which means that people do not have the privacy they need to relax. Being affected by the inability to be engaged in desired activities and being stressed by problematic neighbours’ behaviour, individuals face psychological issues. Their physical health suffers as well, as humans become more vulnerable to illnesses and injuries. Initiatives are needed to improve this situation for better and enhance the population’s well-being.


Adjei, P., & Kyei, P. (2013). Linkages between income, housing quality and disease occurrence in rural Ghana. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 28(1), 35-49.

Andersen, M., Wiliamson, A., Fernando, P., Redman, S., & Vincent, F. (2016). There is a housing crisis going on in Sydney for Aboriginal people: Focus group accounts of housing and perceived associations with health. BMC Public Health, 16(429), 1-10.

Bailie, R., Stevens, M., & McDonald, E. (2012). The impact of housing improvement and socio-environmental factors on common childhood illnesses: A cohort study in Indigenous Australian communities. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 66(9), 821-831.

Fitzpatrick, T. (2014). Climate change and poverty: A new agenda for developed nations. Bristol, England: Policy Press.

Fritzell, J., Kangas, O., Hertzman, J., Blomgren, J., & Hiilamo, H. (2013). Cross-temporal and cross-national poverty and mortality rates among developed countries. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2013, 1-15.

Jones-Rounds, M., Evans, G., & Braubach, M. (2014). The interactive effects of housing and neighbourhood quality on psychological well-being. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68(2), 171-175.

Polyzois, D., Polyzoi, E., Wells, J., & Koulis, T. (2016). Poor indoor air quality, mold exposure, and upper respiratory tract infections: Are we placing our children at risk? Journal of Environmental Health, 78(7), 20-27.

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