In Australia alone over 273 Housing for Health projects have improved over 10,310+ houses since 1985

This represents around one-third of Australia’s Indigenous controlled housing stock. This has directly improved the lives of over 60,000+ people for a maximum expenditure of $11,000 per house.
Healthabitat and Housing for Health are about improving the living environments to improve people’s health. We do this through Projects, Advocacy, Education, Research and Development.

40% reduction in hospital admissions...

“… Those who received the Housing for Health intervention had a significantly reduced rate of hospital separations for infectious diseases – 40 % less than the hospital separation* rate for the rest of the Rural NSW Aboriginal population without the Housing for Health interventions.”

 ‘Closing the gap: 10 Years of Housing for Health in NSW, An evaluation of a healthy housing intervention 1998-2009’

NSW Ministry of Health Report
*The administrative process by which a hospital records the cessation of treatment and/or care and/or accommodation of a patient. It is a commonly used measure of the utilization of hospital services.
Graph from NSW Health 10 year review of Housing for Health projects:

Showing a 40% reduction in hospital admissions,

1 = No change in rate of disease
Yellow = No Health intervention
Orange = HfH intervention

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The Housing for Health method is acknowledged and endorsed...

“That the FHBH [Housing for Health] Project delivery method be acknowledged and endorsed as a successful means of program delivery, particularly with regard to good resource planning and achieving practical outcomes in relation to ‘on-the-spot’ fixing of health hardware deficiencies. It is a conceptually straightforward methodology which accords with best practice asset management principles, and which can be successfully applied by FHBH [Housing for Health] Project managers and participating communities. It has been shown to be appropriate and adaptable to its circumstances and to provide an objective ‘evidence-based’ means of assessing the status of Indigenous housing.”

The report also recommended the methodology be endorsed as an effective means for improving Indigenous housing outcomes at Australian Government level.

‘An independent review of the national program 2002-2005’

SGS Economics & Planning Pty Ltd (SGS) and Tallegalla Consultants Pty Ltd (Dan Gillespie)
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External and independent review of the Housing for Health process have recommended for it to be widely adopted.

Housing for Health projects, and the program as a whole, have been regularly monitored and evaluated since 1985 both internally and by external, independent review. This constant monitoring and evaluation has been the reason for continued program development and improvement.

How to reduce poverty? Fix homes! The late Paul Pholeros at TEDx Sydney

Housing for Health team members in Brooklyn, New York City, USA

Universal Application

Beyond Australia the Housing for Health methodology has been adapted and applied to projects internationally including;

  • Urban housing in Brooklyn New York City
  • Rural communities in the Navajo Nation, USA
  • Rural villages in Nepal
  • Northern rural communities in Bangladesh
  • Urban shack dwellers on the edges of Johannesburg in South Africa

Whilst geography, climate, culture, religion and skin colour vary, the poverty and bugs that harm the health of people living in poor environments are similar.

By adopting the same methodology and applying it locally to each project, important improvements to environment and health have been, and continue to be achieved. By working with the local community, local organisations, building capacity slowly and collecting data to ensure real improvements are made, the methodology, focused on the Healthy Living Practices, has a universal application.

Learn more about HH's Impact Awards and advocacy