Healthy Communities Through Housing Justice
Housing conditions are broadly understood to affect health, with research linking cost, crowding, unit quality, homelessness, eviction, foreclosure and other individual-level housing exposures to a wide range of mental and physical health outcomes. These exposures are often conceptualized as distinct from one another, with equally distinct policy interventions.
Policy recommendations, stemming from the problems identified in the available literature, largely address what can be done to address specific threats: for example, to prevent evictions or reduce environmental health threats in units. But, given this focus, currently available research can overlook policy responses that target structural racism in the housing market and its impacts on health. By contrast, urban planning increasingly views housing market conditions that produce overcrowding, enable substandard unit conditions, increase housing cost, and create housing instability as consequences of market-based approaches to housing provision resulting from racial capitalism.
Through the examination of four community-driven housing intervention policies this project aims to understand the health equity implications of local innovations in housing that directly address mechanisms that have enabled housing cost burden to become racialized. Each study is advised by a multi-racial consortium of residents and community-based organization leaders with whom study personnel have pre-existing strong relationships.