Access to safe, healthy, and secure housing is a foundational social determinant of health.
Poor housing conditions have been associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes, including respiratory diseases (such as asthma), lead poisoning, injuries, and chronic and communicable diseases. Suboptimal and cost-burdened housing disproportionately impact people of low-income and racial and ethnic minorities.
Historically, over half of the housing stock in Nashua has been owner occupied. Many of these housing units are older than 40 years old. Recent developments in housing in Nashua have created more rental housing in the form of apartment complexes, while neighboring communities tend to focus more on single-family, owner-occupied housing.
Nashua makes up the majority of housing units overall in the region at over 37k housing units, and also leads in housing density within the Greater Nashua Public Health Region (GNPHR). Owner-occupied homes are at 54% for Nashua, which is much lower than some of the neighboring communities within the GNPHR. Housing costs, whether owner-occupied or renter-occupied, make up a significant amount of expenses in many household. This is driven by the current housing market with limited number of housing stock available for sale or rent.
Housing Data Overview
Check out the points below for the main takeaways from this page.
• In Nashua, census tract 108 had the highest rate of cost-burdened housing, where 59.3% of households spent more than 30% of their income on housing.
• In Nashua, 34% of housing units are considered "suboptimal".
• In Nashua, 54% of homes are owner-occupied, which is much lower than some of the neighboring communities within the GNPHR.
Monthly Housing Costs
Monthly housing costs are the amount that must be paid by a homeowner each month to cover their mortgage. These costs include principal, interest, property taxes, private mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, and/or homeowners' association dues.
Households that spend more than 30% of their income on housing are classified as experiencing a housing cost burden. If a large proportion of the household income is spent on housing, then the amount of money available for healthy food, medical care, and other necessities may be inadequate, particularly for low-income households. This may contribute to food insecurity, stress, and possible adverse health outcomes.
Suboptimal housing is defined as any housing unit with one or more of the following conditions:
1) Lacking complete plumbing facilities,
2) Lacking complete kitchen facilities,
3) With 1.01 or more occupants per room, and/or
4) Selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income greater than 30 percent.
American Community Survey 2013-2017
Home value is a good indicator of the general economic wealth of a community in comparison to surrounding areas. The graphs below show home values in both the top and the bottom quartiles. For example, the average highest home value in Nashua is $313,200, while the average lowest home value in Nashua is $191,100.
The wider the gap between the top and bottom home value quartile, the higher the economic inequality and income gap. In a community where wealth is distributed fairly evenly among the community members, there will be a small gap between the top and bottom quartile home values.
American Community Survey 2013-2017
Health Equity & Housing
A person's health can be seriously impacted by their race, ethnicity, gender, income level, education, and other socioeconomic factors. In regards to housing...
• At each level of income or education, African-Americans have worse health outcomes than Whites. This could be due to adverse health effects of more concentrated disadvantage or a range of experiences related to racial bias (Braveman, Cubbin, Egerter, Williams, & Pamuk, 2010).
• Finding and maintaining safe and affordable housing is challenging especially for low-income families. The housing cost burden rate has been incrementally decreasing for white residents in each income bracket. Hispanic households have seen an increase in these rates (SNHS).
• Housing quality and stability has been a persistent challenge for Black households. Eviction rates among Black renters are often many times that of non-Hispanic white renters (Enterprise).
• Nearly 40% of people experiencing homelessness are Black, including nearly 27% of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, despite representing only 13% of the population (Enterprise).
• Black households are three times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to live in older, crowded and/or substandard homes (Enterprise).
• One of every four homeless women is homeless because of violence committed against her (YWCA).