Unstable Housing Directly Impacts Coloradans’ Health
Access to healthcare is important, but being truly healthy requires so much more. We know that having stable housing is a key component to living a healthy life. A new report that studied housing in communities around the state of Colorado shows a direct connection between housing and health outcomes.
The Children’s Campaign is a member of the statewide Health Equity Advocacy Cohort, which hired the Colorado Health Institute to research and write the report in partnership with members and other stakeholders. The Health Equity Advocacy Cohort is made up of 18 organizations located across Colorado and funded by The Colorado Trust. The goal of the cohort is to build a diverse field of advocates who, together, improve health equity through changes in public policy.
Today, many of us cannot truly achieve health. Living a healthy life is easier for some people than it is for others because of housing policies that work against our diverse population. The housing instability we see in across Colorado is not just happening here. It is impacting people across the state. In the past decade, the average Colorado home price increased 77 percent, researchers found, yet the state’s median income increased just 4.5 percent.
Housing instability is not the fault of any individual—it stems from systemic inequities that were written into public policy and have been playing out for decades. This report details how housing instability has a direct effect on the health and well-being of low-income Coloradans, families with children, people in rural areas, people with disabilities, immigrants, Coloradans experiencing homelessness, and, most significantly, people of color. Even if we didn’t create these problems, it’s our job and our responsibility to fix them.
Change is possible. We envision a future where more equitable policies benefit everyone. This report outlines 11 promising policy ideas that might be implemented in Colorado. They range from local to state-level solutions and include ways to correct policies that have created today’s inequitable systems. We support policies that let our neighbors live their healthiest lives regardless of ZIP code, ethnicity, or income. In the coming months we’ll share more about potential legislative solutions we’ll be supporting—stay tuned.