Social Determinants of Health: A Case for Affordable Housing

On January 19, 2023, Susan McLarty, director of Greenville Homeless Alliance, Kandi Fredere, director of public health at DHEC, and Ryan Duerk, CEO of Miracle Hill, engaged in a thought-provoking discussion titled “Social Determinants of Health: A Case for Affordable Housing.” This conversation highlighted the pivotal role that affordable housing plays in shaping overall health outcomes.

Social determinants of health encompass the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Among these determinants, affordable housing emerges as a critical factor influencing individuals’ well-being. It goes beyond providing shelter, impacting physical and mental health, educational attainment, employment opportunities, and overall quality of life.

The case for affordable housing as a social determinant of health is compelling. Addressing housing affordability not only meets a basic human need but also establishes a foundation for better health outcomes, improved educational opportunities, and enhanced community well-being. Recognizing and addressing the importance of affordable housing in public health initiatives is crucial for building a healthier and more equitable society. The recent discussion on January 19 underscored the urgency of understanding and prioritizing affordable housing as a key component of public health efforts.

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