Adequate and Affordable Housing
Chisago County, MN

Housing and Health 

Housing is a social determinant of health with three main but intersecting constructs: adequate housing conditions, affordability, and residential stability. Inadequate housing conditions are associated with both physical and mental illnesses through direct and indirect pathways. Structural features of the home (e.g., mold, pest infestation, peeling paint, drafts and energy inefficiencies, physical crowding) directly impact health, while affordability (e.g., fear of eviction, housing costs, overcrowding) and stability, defined as frequent moves or in its most extreme form, homelessness, may indirectly impact health (1).

Housing Affordability

The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing costs as 30% of a household’s adjusted gross income. For example, a household with an income of $50,000 per year would be able to afford a monthly housing cost of about $1,250 (2). 

Cost-burdened housing units are those in which occupants spend more than 30% of their household income on housing costs. The map shows the percent of cost-burdened housing by census tract. 

Household Types

This chart shows a breakdown of the type of households present in Chisago County in 2010 and 2015. The data is useful in assessing housing demand since the household composition often dictates the type of housing needed and preferred.

85% of Chisago County households are owner households.

Housing Demand

Total demand from household growth and existing household turnover between 2017 and 2030 equates to 2,448 new for-sale housing units.

Like for-sale housing, it is estimated that 10% to 20% of the total demand for new rental housing units in Chisago County will come from people currently living outside of one of the five submarkets (3). 

Chisago County will experience a 5.5% increase in population between 2010 and 2020 (3).

Senior Housing

The term “senior housing” refers to any housing development that is restricted to people age 55 or older (3).

A lack of affordable housing options can affect families’ ability to make other essential expenses and can create serious financial strains. Low-income families with difficulty paying their rent or mortgage or their utility bills are less likely to have a usual source of medical care and more likely to postpone needed treatment than those who enjoy more-affordable housing.

The evidence on the relationship between housing and health is complex but compelling.


1. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2011). How Does Housing Affect Helath. Retrieved from:

2. Affordable Housing (2019). / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Retrieved from:

3. Maxfield Research & Consulting LLC (2018). Comprehensive Housing Needs Analysis. Retrieved from: 

4. Housing And Health: An Overview Of The Literature,” Health Affairs Health Policy Brief (2018). Retrieved from:

Published: 1/15/20