Changes in Health Following Housing Improvement in a Vulnerable Population in Spain

Ana M. Novoa, Jordi Amat, Davide Malmusi, Fernando Díaz, Mercè Darnell, Carme Trilla, Jordi Bosch, Carme Borrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this study is to compare changes in health among a sample of families living in substandard dwellings or with housing affordability problems assisted by Caritas Diocesana de Barcelona, according to the improvement of their socioeconomic and housing situation during the study period. A quasi-experimental study was performed, including 232 families assisted by Caritas who were interviewed in 2012 and one year later. Participants could have received a set of interventions, including relocation and different types of economic subsidies. Regression models were fitted to identify the association of participants' changes in self-rated general health and mental health between baseline and follow-up with improvements across three dimensions: socioeconomic situation and housing affordability, physical housing characteristics, and neighborhood. An improvement in self-reported health status was associated with having found a job and reporting fewer problems in meeting monthly housing costs. Mental health improved among participants with an increased household income, with a reduction in the perceived risk of losing their house, and with reduced housing-related material deprivations. The study shows that health gains can derive from improvements in housing conditions, especially those related to housing affordability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-107
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • economic recession
  • evaluation studies
  • housing affordability
  • longitudinal studies
  • mental health
  • self-rated health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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