Affordable housing is a necessity for individuals, families, and communities to thrive. Quality housing is associated with positive physical and mental health outcomes, and it is recommended that affordable, accessible, safe, and healthy housing be designed and promoted. Affordable housing allows families to spend more of their income on health care and nutritious food, which can provide emotional and mental health benefits by increasing stability and reducing stress. Unfortunately, the lack of affordable housing can lead to long and expensive trips, reducing time and money available for other activities such as improving education or job skills, or exercising.
This can lead to health inequalities for people with low incomes, women, children, communities of color, and the elderly. The Metro Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) in Nashville is working to provide housing assistance to citizens through a variety of programs. The Tennessee General Assembly created the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) to promote the production of new, more affordable housing units for very low, low, and moderate income individuals and families in the state. THDA also works to preserve and rehabilitate existing housing units for those individuals, as well as providing greater stability to the residential construction industry. In addition to THDA's efforts, a coalition called Welcome Home has been formed by social justice leaders in Nashville. This coalition is working together to advance their political agenda in the Metro Nashville government in order to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable housing. Affordable housing policies are essential for protecting individuals and their communities.
By ensuring that everyone has access to quality housing at an affordable price, we can help reduce health inequalities and improve quality of life.