Housing, Homelessness, and Health

Housing is a key social determinant of health—without adequate housing, health suffers. Poor housing quality, overcrowded housing, housing instability (frequent moves), severe housing burden (spending >50% of household income on rent), and homelessness all have detrimental effects on health. Rising housing costs and limited availability of subsidized housing have led to increased rates of homelessness—both locally and nationally. The terrible toll of homelessness is evident in San Francisco and surrounding cities, where high housing costs has led to some of the highest rates of homelessness in the country.

Led by Dr. Margot Kushel and managed by Claudia Ponath, the program on Housing, Homelessness, and Health is committed to developing evidence-based solutions to homelessness and housing instability at the local, state, and federal levels. We conduct high quality research on the interrelationship between housing, homelessness, and health. Using a variety of research methods, we address a broad range of policy-relevant questions, including the causes of homelessness, the effects of homelessness on health and health service utilization, and the effectiveness of different interventions to prevent and end homelessness. We aim to share our findings and recommendations with clinicians, program managers, policy-makers, and the public, using a wide range of dissemination platforms.