The health status of HOPE VI public housing residents.
The purpose of this study is to provide new data on the relationship between housing quality and health status for people in five HOPE VI public housing developments around the country. HOPE VI is a federal program to replace or redevelop some of the poorest quality public housing in the country. A special survey of residents of these developments was conducted while they lived in HOPE VI housing before its redevelopment. Data for these individuals provides a profile of the quality of housing and the health status of people in HOPE VI housing before its renovation, of residents of publicly assisted housing across the nation, of other people living below the federal poverty level, and of non-poor people. Previously, the lack of data sets that included both housing quality and health status measures has prevented such an analysis. We examined two indicators of health status-perceived overall health status and medically diagnosed asthma. The health status of HOPE VI residents is decidedly worse than that of others in assisted housing and other poor people, despite their similarity in terms of economic deprivation. The difference in the level of asthma prevalence, a condition that has been tied to various measures of housing quality, is especially pronounced. Our analysis indicates that one major benefit of improving housing quality may be improved health status.