What does Climate Change have to do with Housing Justice?

April 14, 2023

In a previous blog, I touched on the intersectionality of housing justice. One of the areas that was mentioned was climate change. In this blog, I will be expanding on this intersection.

Climate displacement presents an immediate challenge to housing justice. Extreme weather events such as abnormally heavy rainfall, prolonged droughts, or sea-level rise just scrape the surface of the negative effects of climate change. We are seeing this in our own country right now as California has witnessed both extreme droughts and rainfall in the last year. This has forced many from their homes and people have had to acclimate to a new normal, as climate change appears to be getting worse [1].

At the hands of climate change, millions of people are forced from their homes each year. This often comes as a surprise, with no prior warnings, and people are left homeless and sometimes stateless, in an effort to escape the horrible effects of climate change. This sadly is happening all over the world.

Another issue at the intersection of housing justice and climate change is one that we have all experienced. These extremely hot days, seemingly out of nowhere, require us to crank up the air conditioning. On the other hand, we see the same issue with freezing cold temperatures, and extra heat becomes necessary. Not only do we see the immediate effects of this when we watch our energy bills rise each month, but this also affects the housing market.

Rising costs for energy paired with potentially costly upgrades in heating and cooling technology serve to make the housing market even more expensive than it already is. In order to tackle both climate and housing justice affordability, rent stabilization, and reducing the energy burden are necessary. [2]

What can we do to help?

There are so many different avenues that can be used to fight climate change. One of the more obvious is reducing plastic consumption. We all take in so much single use plastic. As I write this, I just consumed food that was wrapped in plastic. Some of this is unavoidable. But when we can, it is important to choose options that are sustainably packaged or bring our own reusable containers. Often paired with this is the need to reduce food waste. When packed in overflowing landfills, food does not decompose as it should and it adds to the overwhelming amount of waste, which in turn, contributes to climate change. Therefore, reducing food waste by composting or simply by buying only what you need, will have a positive impact on our world.

These problems are inextricably linked to housing justice. In an effort to care for and love our neighbors, it is important to take steps to fight climate change. While it is certainly not the only cause of housing injustice, it does play a role in making it harder and harder to find affordable and available housing. As Chistians, we should all desire justice for our neighbors. By tackling the long term effect on housing justice, climate change, we can work to make our future world a more hospitable place for all people to reside in.


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