Monday, February 3, 2014

Housing Is a Health Care Issue!

Dateline NBC January 6, 2014 clearly shows the connection between being healthy and the condition of your housing.  

You can view Breathless starting with the following link:

The first part shows the harm of asthma: the five remaining segments show the direct link between substandard housing and the disease.   

Although we are lucky here in Douglas County, Oregon because there are no problems in this regard with our local Public Housing Authority (PHA), HADCO, we do have such substandard rental housing throughout the county, which are usually owned by private investors.  However mold in significant in our rural Oregon community and it is not just old drafty slum housing.  The problem can actually be caused in new construction when it is not done properly.  

I personally know about one unit, owned by a local non-profit, where the local contractor who built the homes failed to provide the right ventilation for the units.  This caused too much humidity in the units leading to an on-going problem with mold growth.  After watching this program, I am more concerned that the units may have led to the development of asthma in the children living there, at least one of whom I personally know.  

Since housing is clearly a health care issue, shouldn’t our local Coordinated Care Organization, Umpqua Health Alliance (UHA) pay for housing people so they do not have to live in mice, cockroach and mold infested units because that is all the family can afford?   If they give a woman an air-conditioner to keep her out of the hospital, should they not do the same regarding healthy housing?  

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