Severe housing problems

Updated 3/20/19 – *Note that this measure is also an economic and physical determinant of health

The County Health Rankings measure severe housing problems because inadequate or poor quality housing contributes to health problems such as infectious and chronic diseases, injuries and child development issues.  Adequate housing should provide a sense of privacy, security, stability and control. The top US performers have 9% severe housing problems, compared with 21% for Washoe County.


  • County Health Rankings define severe housing problems as the percentage of households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities
  • Severe overcrowding is defined as more than 1.5 persons per room
  • Severe cost burden is defined as monthly housing costs (including utilities) that exceed 50% of monthly income
  • Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) data from HUD are used in the rankings; data are 5-year averages, lagged 4 years


County Health Rankings

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