The impact of substandard dwellings on the health of families is a complex and expensive issue. According to a briefing paper from the UK government’s POST, the health consequences of inadequate housing cost the NHS at least 600 million pounds a year. Illnesses associated with poor housing include respiratory infections, allergies,depression and anxiety, hypothermia, cardiovascular problems, nausea, food poisoning and other infections of the gastrointestinal system.
A recent report from the UK’s Joseph Rowntree Foundation comments that inadequate housing and its costs to the family can affect the health of adults, stunt the development of children, and leave a family with little money for the other necessities of life or in some circumstances leave them homeless.
Governments world-wide have struggled for the past century to provide adequate, healthy housing for families, unable either to afford the cost of their own home, or to rent suitable accommodation in which to raise a family. Since the 1920s, various levels of government in the UK have funded the construction of large scale, social housing projects, but the costs to government associated with the building and maintenance of public housing are astronomical. Currently, viable, worthwhile alternatives for funding social housing are gaining momentum through companies, such as the multi-national EcoHouse Group, established in the UK in 2009.
Using Brazil’s government-sponsored Minha Casa Minha Vida, the My House My Life programme, real-estate and development companies, such as the EcoHouse Group are encouraging investors worldwide to make short-term investments in high quality, social housing projects. As an investor, you have a unique opportunity to fund high quality, healthy housing with gardens , and other features designed for community use, including playgrounds, swimming pools and cycle paths, schools, and day care centres, hospitals, police stations and trees to control the risk posed by mosquitoes.
These programmes offer you the chance to improve housing in Brazil, where millions of families live in substandard housing, and at the same time provide you with an excellent return on your investment.