Impact of housing status and supportive housing on the health of aboriginal people


Key take-home messages
  • Aboriginal communities in Canada and Australia experience much higher rates of inadequate and vulnerable housing, which can include lack of working health hardware (i.e. working toilet, waste water disposal, ventilation), inadequate or unsafe structures, high proportion of income spent on housing and/or having to move residences frequently.
  • Overcrowding is also regularly cited as a housing challenge for Aboriginal communities, particularly remote Inuit communities, but this must be considered with caution due to cultural assumptions about family make-up, personal space and the concept of ‘household’.
  • Inadequate housing has been linked to significant poor health outcomes for Aboriginal communities, particularly children. Indigenous children in Canada and Australia have distressingly high rates of respiratory infections, skin disease, parasites and nutritional disease; which have been directly linked to housing.
  • Geographic distribution is also of concern as neighborhood characteristics have been linked to health outcomes and access to health and social services is very limited for many on-reserve and remote communities.
  • While researchers support the need for supportive housing services for Aboriginal communities, no research was located that evaluated the outcomes of such services or the key components of supportive housing programs.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Determinants of Health
    • Housing
  • Population(s)
    • Indigenous communities


Abstract/Full paper

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