Home and Happiness

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, being happier has several positive effects on our lives including a lower chance of heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections. Studies also show that happy people live longer.(1)

Since I’ve worked with Fahe, I have had the pleasure of meeting with dozens of families who have lived in seriously bad conditions. I have seen homes with holes in the roofs, I’ve been in homes that smelled strongly of mildew because the roof leaked water onto the carpet and the windows couldn’t be opened, and I have witnessed a sewage pipe that drained only ten feet from the house. Each of the people that I have spoken to have all said the same thing when asked about how they felt about getting placed in a new home: “I am happy.”   They are happy to be in a home that’s warm at night, they are happy to be in a home that isn’t falling apart, they are happy because they have something they can leave their children.

It’s not just the home itself that makes people happy. It’s the opportunities that these homes provide. It’s the extra money at the end of the month that wasn’t spent on insanely high utility bills. It’s knowing that you can afford all the things your family needs and maybe a luxury or two. In the case of rental, having an apartment that you can afford, that is kept up by the landlord, that is well insulated, that is safe, reduces the need for constant moving.   A home can impact happiness on so many different levels.
So based on the Harvard study and based on the testimonials of people we have helped, it can be argued that a quality, affordable home is a vital tool in helping people to live long, healthy lives. Fahe and our members help get families into homeownership through services such as home counseling, development of quality housing stock including energy efficient homes, and through affordable financing through our mortgage division, JustChoice Lending.

 

1. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/