The U.S. housing system has created a chronic affordability gap and persistently inequitable and unhealthy living conditions. Law plays an important role in shaping that system, but there is too much unknown about the impact of housing laws and policies on health and health equity. This report series by the P4A Research Hub at the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law aims to highlight these gaps, and to suggest areas for research and action needed to produce healthier communities.
At this time, little is known about the health consequences of growing up in gentrifying neighborhoods. Many observers worry that gentrification could heighten stress and undermine children’s health, but it may also bring changes to low-income areas that enhance health. Kacie Dragan, Ingrid Ellen, and Sherry A. Glied, representing P4A’s NYU Wagner Research Hub, explore these issues in a new paper, focusing on children’s physical and mental health.
People who receive vouchers or other forms of federal or local housing assistance are not protected from discrimination by federal fair housing or civil rights laws, and in most places, landlords can legally refuse to rent to voucher holders. Researchers will assess whether and under what conditions state and local protections reduce landlord discrimination and improve the rate at which voucher holders are successful at finding housing.
In the last few decades, gentrification has grown increasingly common in cities across the country. Kacie Dragan, Ingrid Ellen, and Sherry A. Glied, representing P4A’s NYU Wagner Research Hub, released a working paper offering new evidence about the consequences of gentrification on mobility, building and neighborhood conditions.
Abraham Gutman, Katie Moran-McCabe and Scott Burris at the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research published an article in the Northeastern University Law Review that explores 23 legal mechanisms, or levers, that may impact health equity in housing in the U.S., and reviews the evidence base evaluating each lever.
Paula Lantz and Samantha Iovan of the University of Michigan Research Hub used their innovative pay-for-success (PFS) surveillance system to identify strengths and challenges of several supportive housing interventions using PFS, and to assess whether PFS housing projects generally meet established criteria for improving social welfare.
In the U.S., the key challenge for many households is housing affordability. Households paying more than one-half of a limited total income for rent have very little left over for food, transportation, education, and other critical expenses. And these rent burdens have only been growing. In 1960, fewer than one in four renters was rent-burdened (or paid more than 30 percent of their income on rent); today that fraction is nearly half.