Housing and Health Equity Fall 2022 Newsletter
Our lab is focused on understanding the health implications of the current affordable housing crisis. Our research seeks to illuminate the toll of large, unequal, and unmet housing needs and to examine the health impacts of housing policies. We are grateful to our community partners, funders and the many individuals who have shared their lived experiences of housing vulnerability and housing activism with our research team. This report provides a brief summary of some of our work over the past year. We hope you find it informative. We welcome any questions or comments and would be happy to provide more information.
YSPH study: Hotel housing improves well-being of individuals experiencing homelessness
A new YSPH study, published in the journal Housing Policy Debate, concludes that using hotels for temporarily housing homeless individuals had a positive impact on their lives - something that could have implications for future ways of addressing homelessness in general.
Insulin Is an Extreme Financial Burden for Over 14% of Americans Who Use It
Much of the rising cost can be attributed to supply chains that have become more complicated, researchers said. Each step added to the chain means another entity is collecting profits, leading to higher costs for patients dependent on insulin.Source: YaleNews
Hotel housing for homeless teaches an important lesson for future
In March of 2020, the United States issued an executive order enabling funds from FEMA’s Public Assistance program to be used to cover 75% of costs related to non-congregate sheltering for individuals experiencing homelessness. In New Haven, this enabled the city to contract with two hotels, the Village Suites and the La Quinta Inn and Suites, to house individuals residing in congregate shelters or experiencing unsheltered homelessness.Source: CT Mirror
Right to counsel is both a housing and public health intervention
The COVID 19 pandemic exposed and clarified the significance of housing for health and well-being. Recognition that housing instability and homelessness contributed to the spread of COVID 19 spurred urgent and creative action to address symptoms of a longstanding affordable housing crisis including the risk of eviction from rental housing. As one example, here in Connecticut, a statewide moratorium on evictions helped keep renters housed when pandemic related wage loss caused them to fall behind on rent.Source: CT Mirror
Build public housing in the suburbs to improve population health
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to a pre-existing and severe affordable rental housing crisis throughout the U.S. and here in Connecticut. Prior to the pandemic, there was no state in this country where a full-time minimum wage job was sufficient to affordably rent a one- bedroom apartment. Here in Connecticut, nearly two full-time jobs were needed.Source: CT Mirror
Experts: Racism at root of public health gap between white people, people of color
Public health professionals and scholars have written for decades about systemic racism being a major cause of Americans who are Black, Hispanic or Native American having poorer health and life expectancy than whites.Source: New Haven Register
Staying Home Without a Home: The Housing Crisis and COVID-19
Since the early days of the United States’ COVID-19 pandemic, state and local officials have raised concerns about the unique challenges that the virus poses to individuals who lack a place to call home. The challenges of “sheltering in place” for those who lack shelter are abundantly clear. Indeed, several cities are reporting high numbers of cases among individuals staying in homeless shelters and on the street. Some local governments have worked to mitigate this problem by finding temporary sources of housing in hotels and other properties.Source: Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health
L.A.'s most crowded neighborhoods fear outbreaks: ‘If one of us gets it, we are all going to get it’
Lorenzo Salinas doesn’t know how he’ll pay next month’s rent, much less how he would keep his whole family from getting sick if one of them fell ill with the coronavirus. There’s little space to spare in the two-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles where he lives with his wife and three children, ages 11 to 20.Source: Los Angeles Times
Ben Carson Is Wrong: Cutting Housing Benefits Won’t Make People More ‘Self-Sufficient’
Lack of access to something as basic as eyeglasses is one of the many ways that poverty itself serves as a barrier to economic mobility, writes Danya Keene, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health.Source: Cognoscenti
Affordable Housing, Rental Assistance, and Population Health
The US is facing a growing and severe affordable housing crisis. Rents have outstripped wages, and in the vast majority of the country, full-time minimum wage work is insufficient to affordably rent a two-bedroom market-rate apartment. Today, half of low-income households spend more than 50% of their income on housing. This crisis has contributed to poor housing conditions, housing instability, and eviction among low-income households. The shortage of affordable housing is not only a housing problem, it is also a population health problem, given the well-established relationship between housing conditions and health outcomes.Source: Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health
Yale Study Probes Reverse Mortgage Motivations, Racial Disparities
A new paper from a Yale University researcher takes a deep look at the reasons why some older Americans elect to take out reverse mortgages — and how racial and socioeconomic factors can play into their decision making.Source: Reverse Mortgage Daily
Affordable housing is at crisis levels — here's how tax reform can help
The House Republican Tax bill proposes cuts to the country’s largest subsidized housing program, the mortgage interest deduction (MID). This $70 billion dollar tax expenditure largely benefits high income Americans: The larger the mortgage, the larger the deduction, for mortgages under $1 million.Source: The Hill
Mobile Devices May Determine How Places and People Increase HIV Risk Behavior
Adult men who have sex with men (MSM) are one of the highest risk groups for HIV. In 2010, MSM accounted for 78 percent of new HIV infections among males—with more than one third of all new HIV/AIDS infections occurring among those ages 18 to 29.
Mortgage Strain Associated with Stigma, Mental Health Issues
The recent foreclosure crisis, which skyrocketed from 650,000 homes in 2007 to 2.9 million just three years later, was an economic disaster, but it also triggered a mental health crisis for many as they struggled to stay financially afloat.
Can getting sick push you into foreclosure?
Piles of research link foreclosure to depression, increased emergency room visits and even suicide among people who have lost their homes or are close to it. But just as foreclosures can contribute to health problems, new research shows that health problems can contribute to foreclosure, as well.Source: Washington Post