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Industrialization brought mass migration to cities. This one-room worker home from Helsinki from 1911 represents an attempt by the city government to improve the conditions of workers e.g. with electricity and running water installed in the row house.

Housing refers to the usage and possibly construction of shelter as living spaces, individually or collectively. Housing is a basic human need and a human right, playing a critical role in shaping the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities,[1] As such it is the main issue of housing organization and policy.



Housing ensures that members of society have a place to live, whether it is a home or some kind of physical structure for dwelling, lodging or shelter and it includes a range of options from apartments and houses to temporary shelters and emergency accommodations.[2] Access to safe, affordable, and stable housing is essential for a person's health, safety, and well-being. Housing can also impact a person's economic, social, and cultural opportunities, as it influences their access to education, employment, healthcare, and social networks. In many countries, housing policies and programs have been developed to address issues related to affordability, quality, and availability, and to ensure that everyone has access to decent housing. Some have one or more housing authorities, sometimes also called a housing ministry or housing department.

In general there are two types of housing, market housing and non-market housing. While market housing consists of apartments, condominiums, private housing, etc. Non-market housing consists of public, social, and cooperative housing among others. Market housing refers to housing that is bought and sold on the open market, with prices and rents determined by supply and demand. This type of housing is typically owned by private individuals or corporations, and the rental rates are determined by the landlord based on the local market conditions. Non-market housing, on the other hand, refers to housing that is provided and managed by the government or non-profit organizations, with the goal of providing affordable housing options to individuals or families with low to moderate incomes. This type of housing is typically subsidized, meaning that the rent is lower than the market rate, and tenants may be eligible for rent assistance programs.[3]



United States of America


In the United States, it was not until the 19th and 20th century that there was a lot more government involvement in housing. It was mainly aimed at helping those who were poor in the community.[4] Public housing provides help and assistance to those who are poor and mainly low-income earners. A study report shows that there are many individuals living in public housing. There are over 1.2 million families or households.[5] These types of housing were built mainly to provide people, mainly those who are low-income and elderly, with safe, affordable, and good housing units.

With regards to the history of housing, there are studies that prove that the involvement of the government began in 1937, and it was "under the United States Housing Act".[6] The goal was to improve many things such as all of the unsafe, unsanitary, and terrible housing conditions which connect to the issue of affordable housing. In 1940, there was development, and there was an Office of Housing expenditures. Later on, in the years, another housing act took place in 1956, and in 1960, there was recognition of rights which was considered to be a "huge turning point for public housing".[6] Many of the policies created back then tend to be still active nowadays.

From that time until now, public housing has been increasing. In the 1980s, there were many public housing individuals and tenants who lived in many different areas, particularly those areas that were segregated. Some years later, a new program was created, and it caused many people to be relocated. This is similar to what we have today, where people are repositioned. Back then, the program was called Hope VI.[7]

Moving forward to the 2000s, the problem of finding affordable housing started to increase, leading United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to start taking action and helping out many homeowners, individuals, agencies, and communities in order to find affordable housing. When counting, there are over nine hundred thousand participants in this program.[8] Throughout the years after there had been an increase in housing prices then they tend to go down after a year, this was occurring in 2005, and it sure is occurring today, nowadays there are such high prices on houses. In 2008, an act did take place called the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008" and this act "strengthened and modernized the regulation of...(government-sponsored enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks" [9] From 2013 to 2017, there were contributions occurring; for example, there was the LIHTC which although a source on the outside, did help out with HUD and provide many different funds which helped out with public housing, especially with their capital needs. From 2000 until 2019, inflation dropped because of all of the public housing funds.[10] Nowadays affordable housing is a huge problem for so many families, and this is up by about ten to fifteen percent since 2018 because of the increase in prices.  [11]

Macroeconomy and housing price


Previous research has shown that housing price is affected by the macroeconomy.[12] Research from 2018 indicates that a 1% increase in the Consumer Price Index leads to a $3,559,715 increase in housing prices and raises the property price per square foot by $119.3387.[citation needed] Money Supply (M2) has a positive relationship with housing prices. As M2 increased by one unit, housing prices rose by 0.0618 in a study conducted in Hong Kong. When there is a 1% increase in the best lending rate, housing prices drop by between $18,237.26 and $28,681.17 in the HAC[which?] model. Mortgage repayments lead to a rise in the discount window base rate. A 1% rise in the rate leads to a $14,314.69 drop in housing prices, and an average selling price drop of $585,335.50. As the US real interest rate increases, the interest rates in Hong Kong must follow, increasing mortgage repayments. When there is a 1% increase in the US real interest rate, the property prices decrease from $9302.845 to $4957.274, and saleable area drops by $4.955206 and $14.01284. When there is a 1% rise in overnight Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate, the housing prices drop to about 3455.529, and the price per ft2 will drop by $187.3119.[13][need quotation to verify]

Effect on health


Housing is recognized as a social determinant of health. Lack of housing or poor-quality housing can negatively affect an individual's physical and mental health. Housing attributes that negatively affect physical health include dampness, mold, inadequate heating, and overcrowding. Mental health is also affected by inadequate heating, overcrowding, dampness, and mold, as well as lack of personal space.[14] Instability in housing can negatively affect mental health.[15] Housing can affect the health of children through exposure to asthma triggers or lead, and through injuries due to structural deficiencies (e.g. lack of window guards or radiator covers).[16]

See also



  1. ^ "housing". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  2. ^ Gwendolyn Wright, Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America (MIT press, 1983)
  3. ^ Haffner, Marietta E. A. (2009). Bridging the Gap Between Social and Market Rented Housing in Six European Countries?. IOS Press. pp. 4+. ISBN 978-1-60750-035-3.
  4. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering; Division, Health and Medicine; Practice, Board on Population Health and Public Health; Affairs, Policy and Global; Program, Science and Technology for Sustainability; Individuals, Committee on an Evaluation of Permanent Supportive Housing Programs for Homeless (2018-07-11), "The History of Homelessness in the United States", Permanent Supportive Housing: Evaluating the Evidence for Improving Health Outcomes Among People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness, National Academies Press (US), retrieved 2023-05-26 {{citation}}: |first4= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ "Public Housing". HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  6. ^ a b Pappas, Allison (2013-02-04). "The History of Public Housing: Started over 70 Years Ago, yet Still Evolving…". SWHELPER. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  7. ^ "Public Housing History". National Low Income Housing Coalition. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  8. ^ "HUD's Public Housing Program". HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  9. ^ "THE 2000 -2009 | HUD USER". www. hud user. gov. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  10. ^ "An Agenda for the Future of Public Housing". Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  11. ^ Schaeffer, Katherine. "A growing share of Americans say affordable housing is a major problem where they live". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  12. ^ Dept, International Monetary Fund Research (2005-12-22). "Research Summaries: Housing Prices and Macroeconomics". IMF Research Bulletin. 2005 (4). doi:10.5089/9781451929980.026.A001 (inactive 31 January 2024).{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of January 2024 (link)
  13. ^ Li, R.Y.M. (2018). "Have Housing Prices Gone with the Smelly Wind? Big Data Analysis on Landfill in Hong Kong". Sustainability. 10 (2): 341. doi:10.3390/su10020341. S2CID 158813714.
  14. ^ Rolfe, Steve; Garnham, Lisa; Godwin, Jon; Anderson, Isobel; Seaman, Pete; Donaldson, Cam (2020). "Housing as a social determinant of health and wellbeing: Developing an empirically-informed realist theoretical framework". BMC Public Health. 20 (1): 1138. doi:10.1186/s12889-020-09224-0. PMC 7370492. PMID 32689966.
  15. ^ Li, Ang; Baker, Emma; Bentley, Rebecca (2022). "Understanding the mental health effects of instability in the private rental sector: A longitudinal analysis of a national cohort". Social Science & Medicine. 296: 114778. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114778. PMID 35151148. S2CID 246614891.
  16. ^ Dunn, James R. (2020). "Housing and Healthy Child Development: Known and Potential Impacts of Interventions". Annual Review of Public Health. 41: 381–396. doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040119-094050. PMID 31874071.

The dictionary definition of housing at Wiktionary