Smith-Wade-El’s resolution to study the impact of housing and health quality adopted by House

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, announced that his resolution, H.R. 66, that directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study and issue a report on the impact of housing on health in Pennsylvania passed the House on Monday.

“We have a housing crisis in Pennsylvania,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Not only is there not enough affordable housing, but most housing dates from before 1978 and exposes residents to lead contamination, poor ventilation, ill-constructed waste systems, and other unsafe and toxic conditions.

“Bad housing is having a devastating impact on people’s health and on our health services,” Smith-Wade-El said. “We’ve got to use our resources to find a remedy for a literally toxic situation by studying the health care costs associated with substandard housing and building affordable housing connected to local health care and social service systems.”

According to Smith-Wade-El, studies have shown that substandard housing is a contributing factor to negative health outcomes and can perpetuate economic struggle and housing insecurity for some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians. The LBFC will reach out to relevant stakeholders to gain insight on the impact housing has on residents’ health and provide recommendations for housing solutions.

“Everyone deserves a safe and healthy home,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Not only does stable and affordable housing decrease the cost of public support services, but it can improve the health and quality of life of our fellow Pennsylvanians. Collecting information on health outcomes impacted by housing will allow us to identify appropriate policy changes to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and save lives.” 

Questions about the resolution can be directed to Smith-Wade-El’s office at 717-283-4218.