🌏 Healthabitat Blog #️⃣2️⃣: Introducing ‘Housing for Health’

IWSH have worked alongside Australian-based NGO Healthabitat on previous Community Plumbing Challenge programs, and have invited them to participate once again in the CPC Navajo Nation project.

In 2011 Healthabitat won the World Habitat Award for its Housing for Health program. Initiated in 1985, the Housing for Health program aims to improve the health of poor people by ensuring they have access to safe and well-functioning housing and an improved living environment. It uses a survey and fix methodology for testing whether the houses are safe to live in and have functioning electrical and water supply systems. The ‘9 Healthy Living Practices’ pioneered through the project are now part of current Australian government policy, and knowledge gained through the Housing for Health projects has been used to develop Housing for Health – the guide: a housing design guide aimed at improving health through better quality housing.

Healthabitat has designed and managed 230 Housing for Health projects throughout Australia since 1999, and also undertaken applied research to improve many important parts of the living environment. Housing for Health projects target the improvement of houses and household living conditions in urban, rural and remote communities. From 1999 to 2018, Housing for Health projects have improved over 9,000 houses and the health of over 59,000 people.

The health principles developed from the Australian work have subsequently gone on to be used in urban housing in the USA, township WASH facilities in South Africa, and in rural villages in Bangladesh and Nepal.

During CPC Navajo Nation, IWSH, DigDeep and local residents will be working with Healthabitat: applying lessons learned from international Housing for Health projects, with the aim to ensure reducing rates of infectious disease and improving health remains at the core of this new CPC program.

Healthabitat Project Manager Dave Donald (third from right) introduces the Housing For Health program to local community representatives and residents of Thoreau, New Mexico ahead of CPC Navajo Nation.

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