Baden Württemberg

ÖGD - Öffentlicher Gesundheitsdienst

ÖGD - Öffentlicher Gesundheitsdienst

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Housing and Health  

 Deutsche Versionhouses built of wooden toys 
Healthy housing means more than a mere roof over one’s head. Healthy housing stands for having space at one’s disposal with adequate conditions for safety, hygiene, comfort and privacy and for adequate social ambience. It comprises physical accessibility, adequate space for all dwellers and the option for each and every individual to be himself or herself. It also means structural stability and durability as well as adequate heating, lighting and ventilation. In addition, adequate basic infrastructures, such as water supply, sanitary and waste-management facilities, are crucial. Moreover, healthy housing means security of tenure, enabling the arrangement of a flat according to one’s demands.

For describing housing and health interactions not only the dwelling itself, but the whole residential environment is decisive: An adequate and accessible location with regard to work and basic facilities or recreation areas in the neighbourhood are important as well.

All these things should be available at an affordable cost. However adequacy varies from country to country. Specific cultural, social, environmental and economic factors hamper the setting up of international standards for adequate housing. By this reason, guidelines for healthy housing mostly arise from national reports and refer to national or regional conditions.

Some housing risk factors to health, like chemical pollutants, noise or moulds, can be measured and assessed properly. However, soft factors such as social impact and effects on mental health caused by poor housing conditions are difficult to evaluate. Poverty and disabilities give rise to special housing risks. Some aspects are discussed in the following articles in more detail. Multiple occurence of some topics is caused by interdependency of the subjects.

The topics provided on our websites are: 
Home Materials,  Noise, Indoor Air Quality (including radon, particulate matter, damp and mould), Urban Planning, Thermal Comfort (with energy and climate change), Accidents at Home, Housing and Age with acessibility, Housing + Mental Health and social inequality.

A special issue on Housing and Children's Health has been introduced recently.


Update 05/2013

Further Information

    WHO CC report on housing and health of fourthgraders in Baden-Württemberg, 2011 

    WHO documents regarding environmental burden of disease associated with inadequate housing, 2011 

    Documents of  WHO regarding health co-benefits of climate change mitigation "Health in the green economy - Housing sector", 2011 




     WHO information on Public Health and Environment (PHE)
    Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health
     Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health
     Urban Health
     Fraunhofer Information Centre for Planning and Building (IRB) 






    Baden-Württemberg State Health Office
    Office WHO CC
    WHO CC 
    Phone +49 (0) 711 904-39650


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