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The Impact of Housing on Self-Reported Physical and Mental Health Among Residents in Public and Affordable Housing in the South Bronx: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Attinson, Dionna Nicole

Substandard housing has been associated with decreased physical and mental health, particularly among low-income communities of color (Jacobs, 2011). The aim of this analysis is to examine the relationship between housing risk factors and self-reported physical and mental health among residents in affordable and public housing units in the South Bronx.

Methods: Participants (N = 304) were recruited from an affordable housing site and a public housing site in the South Bronx. Participants completed a survey that collected data on socio-demographics, housing conditions/quality, housing affordability, residential satisfaction, health behaviors (i.e., smoking), social connectedness, mental health, physical health, and perceived stress. A multivariate multiple regression analysis including both samples was conducted, followed by a stratified analysis for each sample.

Results: At baseline, residents in public housing had lower self-reported physical health compared to residents living in affordable housing. In addition, on average, residents in public housing were older, had lower levels of education, were more likely to have needed repairs in the previous year, and more likely to have at least one chronic disease, when compared to residents at the affordable housing site. In the overall analysis, age and education were the strongest predictors of self-rated physical health, while residential satisfaction and education were the strongest predictors of self-rated mental health. In the public housing sample, age and income were predictors of self-rated physical health, while residential satisfaction remained a strong predictor of mental health. In the affordable housing sample, age was the only predictor of self-rated physical health, while post-high school level education was associated with better self-rated mental health.

Conclusion: Community-based interventions and policies should be developed and implemented to address the multifaceted facilitators of good physical and mental health for those who reside in affordable and public housing units. To better support the health of residents and communities, particular focus and tailoring should be directed to older adults, those with low income, and individuals with lower education levels.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Sociomedical Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Hernández, Diana
Degree
M.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
May 5, 2020