A wide range of health conditions are associated with poor health conditions.(Jackson, R. & Kochtitsky, C.2001). These health conditions include but not limited to infections such as respiratory infections, development of Asthma, poisoning, injuries together with mental health. In addressing housing issues is a very good opportunity for the public health practitioner to solve a social health problem in the society. The built environments in which we create as human beings have major influences in the natural environment as well as human health and the economy. (Allen, E, & Iano, J.2008). The body which has really dealt with housing health issues in New York is the public health. The main issues which were dealt with in the 19th century were good ventilation, poor sanitation, overcrowding. This greatly reduced infection diseases as well as fire hazards to avoid injuries in the society.
Nowadays, the public health in New York has developed has come up with many ways to deal with housing issues.(Marmot M &Wilkinson R. 1999).Such ways are developing and promoting guidelines as far as housing is concerned. Healthy home programmes are also given priorities which will result to indoor environmental quality. Finally, they advocate for healthy and affordable housing in New York. Healthier homes can only be realized by bringing down substandard homes in entire New York City. In this article, the most important part which will be discussed at large is showing some of the evidence linking housing condition to health issues. How public health realizes good housing conditions in New York City especially in the view of historical context.
Some of the Environmental issues which affects New York are its city size, population density and the availability of large transportation infrastructure and more so, its proximity to the mouth of Hudson river.(Marmot M &Wilkinson R. 1999).Population density of New York has got its environmental advantages and disadvantages. It leads to the high movement and use of gasoline in the united state and this leads to concentration of pollution. As a result of the high concentration of pollution in the New York City, high incidence of asthma is experienced and some other respiratory infections in the city’s residence. Environmental impacts are recently being observed and also good public housing.
Housing as a determinant of health
As already been identified, poor housing conditions has lead to infection diseases together with chronic illness, injuries together with poor nutrition and mental disorders. Houses are meant to protect life and environment but as we will see in the discussion below, good housing condition is very important as far as the environmental health promotion is concerned. Some of these evidences are presented below.(Jackson, R. & Kochtitsky, C.2001).
Substandard housing has got several characteristics such as contaminated drinking water, cold water for bathing which results to Asthma, waste disposal system which is ineffective, some disease vectors are also intruding such as insects and rats and lack of proper food storage system in the house.(Marsh A, & Gordon D. 1999). This these have highly contributed to the spread of infectious diseases. Good housing system should also be free from overcrowding since it can lead to the spread tuberculosis and other respiratory infections.
Childhood Development and Nutrition
The resent analysis of the longitudinal cohorts of children states the influence of poor hosing condition to children health. This has result to chronic diseases among the children. Resent study has shown that inadequate ventilation in many houses has increased the rate of infant mortality in New York City.(Marmot M &Wilkinson R. 1999).Some of the diseases which were come across are coronary heart disease mortality. Another cohort study has it that when an individual lack good housing system for the first 33 years of his/her life, she/he might end up with disability of any type or severe illness.
Inadequate nutrition has been linked with lack of affordable housing and in most cases among children. Most of the low income earners may strive to obtain better houses in order to make their children feel comfortable.(Jackson, R. & Kochtitsky, C.2001). On the other hand, they might end up using much of their resources on rent and remaining with less money to cater for other necessities like food. A factor which should be put in place is that children from low income families should receive food subsidies such that even if the parents spend much in proper housing, they as well get proper food. Homeless children who have temporary housing lack cooking facilities and this lead to poor nutrition.
Exposure Assessment and Consultation for Individuals
Indoor environmental quality assessment is being done by local health departments through home to home visual inspection. In some cases, it is done through quantitative measurement in terms of exposure to biological contamination as well as toxic substances which may include heavy metals and pesticides. (Marsh A, & Gordon D. 1999).The public health department also provides the people of New York with education to reduce exposure to such substances.
In New York, there exist barriers in developing good housing organization and one of them is being lack of education among the community on the importance of good housing system. When the US Census Bureau's American Housing Survey retrieves data from the entire metropolitan area after every six years, some of the data from smaller area of municipalities and the neighborhood are not available.(Marmot M &Wilkinson R. 1999). Supplemental data from a few municipalities are collected to boost the already collected data. People are not a ware of any American local jurisdiction that deals with data related to housing in terms of collection and analyzing them even though sources have it that they existed in the past.
Guidelines, Codes and Enforcement
Most housing codes and developed and enforced by the housing and construction department in New York. Like any other housing department, this department also offers a se of rules such as plumbing, sanitation and occupancy among the New York citizen. In order to ensure that New York residents enjoy good housing system, such codes like fire safety and mechanical system must be adhered to the later.(Jackson, R. & Kochtitsky, C.2001).This is according to the public health in the department of housing. Unfortunately, these codes stresses only on the subset on the conditions which directly affect the housing system. This is because they don’t deal with major part of renovation of the substandard already existing houses.
Many rules have been enacted generally in the health and nuisance codes .these rules and regulations enable the public health in New York to intervene in situations especially where threat to life is involved immediately. It is sad since such codes do not extend to the housing sector. That is not only the limitation involved but how to put these rules into use is also another blow back to the New York people. (Marsh A, & Gordon D. 1999).To ensures proper housing which does not affect human health and environment, such codes should be followed to the latter. Since the New York population at large are ready to learn and welcome change. Most of the population of New York is youths, consequently they are in a position to read and write. Therefore, it will not be difficult for the public health to enforce these rules.
Resources for inspection and enforcement should be spread among the agencies which have power and effort to implement the effectively. There should be maximum coordination of efforts in these various agencies. (Vaughan, J. 2000). The efforts should be focused on public health rather than market-based solutions and individual legal action.
Disparities in Housing and Disparities in Health in New York
The distribution of substandard housing is not evenly distributed in new yoke city across the population. One will realize that the most misappropriated people in this context are people with color and those who have low income. Like in most cases, black and low income people 1.7 times and 2.2 times most likely to occupy the substandard houses compared to the rest of the population (Jackson, R. & Kochtitsky, C.2001). Most of affected people are suffering from asthma due to poor indoor environmental quality. At the same time, they really suffer from various injuries resulting from poor equipment in the house and lack of resources to repair them. The homes of the poor do experience extreme weather conditions. For instance, they can be too cold or too hot t particular time of the day. This is due to the fact that there are no good ventilation and insulation in the homes. Hence, as environmental health promoter in New York, suggestions that these homes be given priority should be put forward. In preserving the environment and human health, they should not be left out since the objectives of these complain will not be accomplished.
In recent days, very many issues concerning health agenda are driven by various organizations. But it is now clear of the consequences of poor housing system on environment and human health. Public health has really dealt with the problem of unaffordable housing to an extent of reducing the poor housing system. Environmental health promotion is very vital in every community not only New York City. (Marmot M &Wilkinson R. 1999). Furthermore, housing system should be given priority in controlling environmental issues as well as human health matters. Since we spend much of our time in houses, be it at home or at work. In dealing with this situation, I would recommend the adoption of green building in the entire New York City. These types of buildings play very important roles in environmental conservation as well as protecting human health. It ensures that water being used is recycled and the materials used do not interfere with the environment.(Marsh A, & Gordon D. 1999).Therefore, by adopting the use of green building in New York City we can greatly reduce the environmental impacts and save many lives and improving the economy.
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