Unstable Housing Market Hurts Health of Coloradans

DENVER — A new analysis of housing trends in Colorado reveals that the health of Coloradans is closely tied to access to affordable, stable, accessible and quality housing. Residents across the state have been harmed by the rapid increase in housing costs, and that pinch has been acute for seven distinct demographic groups, the report found.

The report details how housing instability has a direct negative effect on the health and well-being of people of color, Coloradans with low incomes, families with children, people in rural areas, people with disabilities, immigrants without documentation and Coloradans experiencing homelessness. The report, “Home Equity: A Vision of Housing Security, Health and Opportunity” was produced by the Colorado Health Institute in partnership with a cohort of 18 Colorado nonprofit organizations. The average Colorado home price increased 77 percent in the past decade, researchers found, yet the state’s median income increased just 4.5 percent.

“Colorado is frequently called one of the healthiest states in the nation,” said Stephanie Perez-Carrillo, Policy Analyst at the Colorado Children’s Campaign, one of the 18 organizations in the Health Equity Advocacy Cohort. “However, health isn’t uniformly available to all Coloradans—and we see after compiling this report that barriers to health often start with housing. Your race, ability, geography or any other factor should not determine whether you have an affordable, stable, accessible and quality place to call home.”

The Health Equity Advocacy Cohort is a partnership 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. The cohort hired the Colorado Health Institute to research and write the report in partnership with members and other stakeholders.

“We believe this report provides the most comprehensive collection of evidence about how housing affects the health of Coloradans. We at CHI have learned a lot from this research, and we think it help make a strong case about the need for secure housing in Colorado,” said Michele Lueck, president of the Colorado Health Institute.

To improve housing opportunities throughout the state, the report outlines 11 promising policy ideas created in partnership with affected communities that state and local policymakers should consider. They range from local to state-level solutions and include ways to correct historic and current policies that have created today’s inequitable systems.

An embargoed report is attached. The full report will be available to the public at coloradohealthinstitute.org on Sept. 3, 2019.

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