A lack of adequate, safe housing can have a major impact on physical wellbeingaccording to a recent study cited in “The Importance of Housing and Cardiovascular Health and Well-Being,” a new Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association published in the Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 

Housing insecurity – a lack of a stable or safe place to live – can lead to as much as a 70% increase in the risk for heart attack or stroke.   

“Chronic housing insecurity may impact a person’s ability to eat properly, get quality sleep, schedule regular medical care or fill prescriptions due to cost. These factors all contribute to inadequate treatment to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and tobacco use, and to the greater likelihood of having a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke,” said Mario Sims, Ph.D, chief science officer of the Jackson Heart Study and professor in the department of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. 

Housing is just one of several social determinants that impact cardiovascular health, according to this article. Other social health factors include socioeconomic factors, such as lack of education, unemployment or under-employment, and access to health care. 

At Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando and Osceola County, we know that affordable housing and better health go hand in hand.  With a low-cost mortgage instead of the burden of paying high rent, homeowners can use their income toward healthier foods, higher education, and  preventative health care.  

Living in new or rehabilitated homes means lower risk of health issues like lead poisoning, and limits exposure to mold and other allergens.  

Long-term living in a safe and stable home also means that families can become part of a community. No more changing doctors or schools every time your lease is up! Having a safe, affordable place to live reduces stress – another big factor in heart health. By removing the threat of ever-increasing rents or eviction, homeownership fosters a sense of security, leading to the opportunity for a healthier life.

You can help more local families experience the peace and freedom of owning an affordable home. When you donate to Habitat Orlando & Osceola, every dollar helps us build homes and work toward a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live. You can make bring hope home through homeownership; please give today.