The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) recently released a brief analyzing a survey conducted last September through the Remodeling Futures program on renters’ concerns regarding how their homes impact their health. Survey results showed that 43 percent of renter households worry about their home negatively affecting their or another occupant’s health, safety, and wellbeing. The most common causes of renter concerns were air quality, pests, flooding and mold, and water quality. The survey finds that many rental units do not have infrastructure to alleviate residents’ concerns and that few tenants trust their landlords to handle such concerns. Among renters with healthy housing concerns, 37 percent reported that in recent years their concern caused them or another household member to move or seriously consider moving to another rental unit.
The report also describes examples of healthy home features that can mitigate or remediate hazards and make homes safer and healthier for occupants, including inexpensive options like kitchen range hoods and bathroom exhaust fans and more costly improvements like a water filtration system or advanced whole-house insulation.