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Informal Housing Provision, Health and Inequality

The United States is facing a severe affordable housing shortage that is likely to have serious implications for population health equity. While the existing literature has focused on how an individual’s housing affects their own health, this project explores how limited housing availability may also affect health and well-being through the strain that it places on network members who provide housing to friends or family members who are locked out of housing opportunities. Furthermore, the burden of this informal housing provision is unequally distributed. In particular, Black Americans are more likely to be locked out of housing opportunities due to multiple and intersecting forms of structural racism that have created barriers to housing access.

In this qualitative study, we seek to 1) characterize the experiences of informal housing providers 2) identify mechanisms that connect the provision of informal housing to health 3) explore relationships between informal housing provision and race and gender-based inequalities in housing and health.

This project is funded by a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation and in collaboration with researchers from the Justice, Housing and Health project.