With Re-designation, WHO Affirms UB’s Collaborating Centre on Health in Housing

Published January 12, 2021

Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization Logos.

The University at Buffalo’s Collaborating Centre on Health in Housing has been re-designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research on Healthy Settings. More than 800 collaborating centers globally work with WHO on areas such as nursing, occupational health, communicable diseases, chronic diseases, emergency response, e-health and more.

UB’s Collaborating Center is considered a WHO/PAHO collaborating center as are all collaborating centers in the Americas. PAHO is the specialized international health agency for the Americas, whose goal is to strengthen health systems and respond to emergencies and disasters.

UB’s center received re-designation as a collaborating center after WHO and PAHO approved its projects following an extensive consultation. Ongoing work includes a collaboration among 15 faculty members from the schools of Public Health and Health Professions, Architecture and Planning, Arts and Sciences, and Social Work, as well as the Graduate School of Education, on a number of projects relating to health in housing. This work falls into two categories. One relates to research around, and support of, WHO’s Housing and Health Guidelines. The second focuses on how housing affects health, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Center members explore topics like inclusive, safe, and accessible housing, food insecurity, housing inequity and insecurity, and the importance of healthy home environments at the household and neighborhood levels.

The Collaborating Centre on Health in Housing was created in 1988. It is headed jointly by Lina Mu, PhD, SPHHP associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, and Samina Raja, PhD, professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, who hold four-year terms as co-directors.

“UB faculty contributing to the center’s projects get the opportunity to network and collaborate with others working through WHO, especially other collaborating centers in the Americas region,” said Mu. “Identifying as a collaborating center also brings increased visibility to UB, our faculty, and their work on these topics.”