Skip to content

Back arrow to return to all resources page All resources Poor Housing Conditions

  • Housing
  • Letter
There is ample evidence that unsafe housing conditions can have negative impacts on an individual’s health and wellbeing. For example, a 2022 Health Affairs article entitled “Unequal Housing Conditions And Code Enforcement Contribute To Asthma Disparities In Boston, Massachusetts” found that there were higher rates of asthma in low-income, predominantly non-White neighborhoods across Boston with older housing units. 

Landlords in most states are obligated by law to make timely changes to living conditions that are negatively affecting an individual’s health or wellbeing. In a 2021 JAMA Pediatrics article entitled “Landlord Behavior After Receiving Pediatrician-Generated Letters to Address Poor Housing Conditions,” physician-generated letters were shown to have an important impact on the actions of landlords to address poor housing conditions. 

This letter template will allow you to write a letter outlining the impact of environmental living hazards on the health of your patient and to advocate for swift changes to be made. (Note: this template references the Rhode Island Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code as an example. You can look up housing codes in your state here.)


  1. Poor Housing Conditions Letter Template

Next steps

Provide this letter to your patient to give to their landlord. Follow-up with your patient to ensure that the landlord addresses these concerns in a timely manner.