Legal Levers for Health Equity through Housing

Principal Investigators
Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research
Funded on

Law stands as a significant influence on health equity, and an essential means of advancing a Culture of Health. The role of law in housing equity is considerable, and has been evolving over the past 50 years.

This landmark project will address a series of related questions to understand the role of law as a lever for health equity through housing:

  • How has law helped build the segregated city?
  • How are cities meeting the most important challenges in the quest for healthy, equitable communities, specifically related to preserving and building diversity, ensuring housing quality and safety, and supporting mobility?
  • What are the major needs in law and housing and gaps?
  • And, finally, how can housing-related law most effectively be used to promote healthy, equitable communities?

The research team will publish a series of reports exploring these key questions, and introduce a framework for future strategic thinking and action to better use legal levers to advance health equity in this country.

Evidence

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To date, the US 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.

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.