It's a jungle out there folks. If speeding taxis don't kill ya, your housing might.

Physical conditions of housing units have declined since the last census in 2009, and the 2013 State of Healthy Housing report from the National Center for Healthy Housing reveals that a shocking 40 percent—or 35 million—of the nation's metropolitan homes have at least one health or safety hazard.

The report specifically calls out rental housing as a culprit, as well as housing options in city centers:

The State of Healthy Housing report compared owner-occupied dwellings with rental properties across 46 metropolitan areas of the country and examined conditions in central city housing compared with housing located outside the central city. Across metropolitan statistical areas, rental properties tend to have more problems than owner-occupied dwellings, and central city housing has more problems than housing located outside the central city. Although there are exceptions to these trends, central city rental properties are typically older and, because of limited housing choices, are more likely to be inhabited by lower income residents.

How are these findings determined? Healthy housing indicator scores for each metro consist of 20 housing characteristics, but only 18 factor into the "severe and moderate physical problem rating" score (four of which do not take multi-unit structures into account.)

  • 14 Indicators of Unhealthy Multifamily Housing: 

  1. 1.    Holes in floors (if large enough to trip in)
    2.    Open cracks or holes in interior walls or ceilings
    3.    Broken plaster or peeling paint larger than 8"x11" on interior walls or ceilings
    4.    Signs of rats or mice in the past three months
    5.    Interior or exterior water leakage in the past 12 months
    6.    Stopped water supply (water system servicing the housing unit supplied no water)
    7.    Flush toilet breakdowns due to faulty mechanisms, broken pipes, blocked sewer pipe, or
           lack of water supply to the toilet
    8.    Sewer disposal breakdown (where system is complete unusable)
    9.    Lacking complete plumbing facilities
    10.  Heating equipment breakdown for 24 hours or more due to faulty equipment
    11.  Room heaters that burn kerosene, gas, or oil, and do not connect to flue, vent, or chimney
    12.  Unit lacking one of the following kitchen facilities: kitchen sink; burners, cook stove, or
           microwave; and refrigerator
    13.  Units with exposed wiring (does not include appliance, extension, telephone, antenna, or
           cable television wires)
    14.  Units without at least one working electrical wall outlet in each room


    • Top 10 Metros for Healthy Housing in 2013: <Tweet This>
    • 40% of dwellings in surveyed metropolitan areas have at least one health or safety hazard: <Tweet This>