Housing : Definition, Criteria & functions


We have described in article :

Definition of housing

Criteria of healthful housing

Effect of poor housing

Functions of housing


Definition of Housing :

Housing : A WHO expert Group defined housing as the physical structure that man uses and the environs of the structure including all necessary services, facilities, equipment and devices needed for the desired for the physical and mental health and the social being of the family and the individual.

Criteria of healthful housing :

Criteria : An expert committee of the WHO recommended the following criteria for healthful housing:

  1. Healthful housing provides physical protection and shelter.
  2. Provides adequately for cooking, eating, washing and excretory functions.
  3. It is designed, constructed, maintained and used in a manner such as to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
  4. It should protect people from hazards of noise and pollution.
  5. It is free from unsafe physical arrangements due to contraction or maintenance, and from toxic or harmful materials, and
  6. It encourages personal and community development, promotes social relationships, reflects a regard for ecological principles and by these means promote mental health.

Healthful housing for healthy life :

  • Housing is part of the total environment of man and being a part, it is to some extent responsible for the status of man’s health and well-being.
  • Poor housing is associated with different diseases and adverse conditions e.g.
  1. Respiratory infections
  2. Skin infections
  3. Rat infestations: Plague
  4. Arthropod borne infections
  5. Accidents
  6. Increased morbidity and mortality
  7. Adverse psychosocial effects.

For above reasons healthful housing is important for healthy life.

Effects of poor housing :

  1. Respiratory infections : Common cold, TB, influenza, diphtheria, cough etc.
  2. Skin infection : Scabies, ringworm, impetigo, leprosy
  3. Rat infestation : Plague
  4. Arthropods : Houseflies, mosquitoes, fleas and bugs.
  5. Accidents : A substantial proportion of house accidents are caused by some defect in the home and its environment.
  6. Morbidity and mortality : High morbidity and mortality rates are observed where housing conditions are sub-standard.
  7. Psychosocial effects : The sense of isolation felt by the persons living in the upper floors of high buildings is now well known to have harmful effects.

Functions of housing : 

  1. To provide shelter and privacy.
  2. To provide protection from noise and pollution hazards.
  3. To provide protection from excess heat and cold.
  4. To provide adequate light without undue glare.
  5. To give protection against natural elements e.g. rain, thunderstorms, direct sunlight, fire etc.
  6. To give protection against diseases and accidents.
  7. To keep away from rodents and insects.
  8. To establish normal social and community life.
  9. To provide security and protection from loss of belongings.
  10. To develop mental wellbeing and happiness of the householders.

1 Response

  1. tlover tonet says:

    I’d have to check with you here. Which isn’t something I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a put up that may make folks think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

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