New community health rankings are out. Where does your locality stand?
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation publishes an annual look at health status in localities across the nation by ranking jurisdictions in each state. The research includes a wide range of criteria that define health and a spectrum of factors that contribute to individual health outcomes.
A number of housing measures were included in the 2019 report, including severe housing cost burden, homeownership, and severe housing problems. The connections between good, stable housing and both physical and mental health are well established.
Here in Virginia, Petersburg ranked last. Richmond was also near the bottom, at 107. Many counties in the Southwest and Southside regions ranked low, as well.
“Our homes are inextricably tied to our health,” said Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. When housing costs take up a disproportionate share of a family’s budget, “this leaves them with fewer dollars to keep their families healthy.”
The study is a reminder that we need to do more to bring healthcare and housing providers to the table to collaborate–something that is at the top of Housing Virginia’s agenda for 2020. If you’d like to explore what you can do in your community, send us a note.
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