Analyzing the influence of housing, urbanization and regional indicators on mental health, physical health and dementia

  • Nori van den Biggelaar Nori van den Biggelaar

Housing associations own approximately 2.4 million houses in the Netherlands. The first housing association in the Netherlands was established in the late 1800’s in order to improve the health of the working class. Lately, the focus of housing associations has shifted from the health of the people living in the houses, to the financial state and sustainability of the houses. In order to advise housing associations on how to shift the focus back to improving the health of the people living in social dwellings, this paper aims to establish relationships between housing and indicators for urbanization and provinces, and five different health outcomes: psychiatric issues, intellectual disability, somatic issues, mobility issues and dementia. We use a linear regression model, estimated by Ordinary Least Squares (OLS). Analyzing correlations, we find that a large fraction of small and old houses, which we could define as bad quality houses, leads to a higher probability of having mental and physical health problems. Furthermore, the probability of having mental health issues and dementia is associated with higher levels of urbanization, while the probability of having physical health issues is associated with lower levels of urbanization. We find that a large fraction of social dwellings in a neighborhood is associated with mental and physical health problems, even when controlling for income, while this is not the case for dementia.

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