Apartment Trends: Metros for Healthy Housing

healthy housing metros

Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

The places we live have the ability to impact our health. While landlords have the responsibility to provide healthy housing to their residents, the results of the 2013 State of Healthy Housing report from the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) showed that 35 million, or 40 percent, of metropolitan homes in the US have one or more health and safety hazards. That number has risen from 2009 results, which found that 30 million homes had health and safety hazards present.

Despite the variety of housing types across the nation’s largest metros, the report found that rental housing is much more likely to have problems than owner-occupied properties. Additionally, housing located in the center of the city tends to be more problematic than those on the outskirts.

Looking at 45 major metropolitan areas in the US, the NCHH measured how healthy a city’s housing was by looking at 20 housing conditions commonly linked with health problems, such as the presence of leaks, electrical problems, or rodents. The study also took into account structural problems with housing, like crumbling foundations, roof damage, or inadequate plumbing. Taking into account all these environmental factors, the State of Healthy Housing report revealed the top 10 healthy housing metros.

Top 10 Healthy Housing Metros


1. San Jose, CA

2. Indianapolis, IN

3.  Anaheim – Santa Ana, CA

3. Tampa – Saint Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

3. Phoenix, AZ

6. Sacramento, CA

6. San Bernardino-Riverside, CA

6. Miami – Hialeah, FL

6. Minneapolis – Saint Paul, MN

10. Charlotte, NC

New York City has made big strides since the 2009 survey, rising to rank 10th out of the 45 cities this year – it was previously ranked 43rd. Cities at the bottom of the list for least healthy housing included Memphis, TN; Birmingham, AL; and San Antonio, TX. According to the report, problematic housing is typically older and likely occupied by low-income residents.

Using these results of the State of Health Housing report, the NCHH hopes to grow awareness of housing-related problems across the nation and encourage housing providers and policymakers to invest in healthy and affordable housing for residents.

Want to learn more? Read about the key indicators for healthy housing, how housing quality was measured, and most common housing problems in each of the 45 metros on the NCHH website.

Related: Catch up on other apartment trends by reading about car-sharingbike-friendly communitiesextreme amenities, and apartment buildings designed to promote healthier lifestyles.