Abstract This article suggests that there is a need for innovative approaches in the complex field of housing and health. It argues that the traditional roles and responsibilities of scientists and professional practitioners ought to be redefined because shortcomings in academic research and professional practice are mainly the result of a narrow vision that does not address the fundamental issues at stake. In contrast to traditional disciplinary approaches which are sectoral, interdisciplinary contributions offer a broader approach. Interdisciplinary approaches highlight the difference between a biomedical model that often adopts a symptom-treatment interpretation of housing and health, and a holistic or integrated model that combines biological, cultural, economic, political, psychological and social factors in a new way. One example of an interdisciplinary approach is an ecological perspective which has been applied to interpret the multiple factors that influence both housing and health. This article argues that an interdisciplinary approach of this kind can be the foundation for transdisciplinary research and professional practice.