Housing and the Role of Hospitals

Health Research & Educational Trust
Implementation Tool
September 2019


Guide for hospitals to address housing instability by understanding the evidence, evaluating different approaches, and exploring case studies of health system-led programs.  


Housing instability – which encompasses homelessness, unsafe housing, and severe rent burden – often leads to increased rates of chronic conditions, earlier mortality, and limited access to preventive care. Health systems and hospitals can implement strategies to improve housing, such as neighborhood revitalization, home assessment and repair programs, medical care for people experiencing homelessness, medical respite care, and transitional or permanent supportive housing.

About this Tool

Hospitals and health systems can use this implementation guide to understand the evidence for how housing instability affects health, as well as the potential roles for hospitals to address housing and opportunities to develop new programs in partnership with community-based organizations. The guide features five case studies of health system-led programs to address housing issues, including affordable housing development, a Healthy Homes program, a medical respite program, a single-site Housing First program, and a partnership to deliver supportive housing.


Health systems and hospitals can use this guide to understand opportunities to address housing instability, and explore the lessons and impact of different types of interventions from the perspectives of the health systems featured in the case studies.

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