Project Funder: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Project Partners: University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health; Brinshore Development; Center for Neighborhood Technology; National Center for Healthy Housing
Project Contact: David E Jacobs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-539-4157
Project Description: This study examines the health and monetary benefits that may be realized when low-income residents move from stressed unhealthy housing into green affordable healthy housing. Researchers are conducting a retrospective analysis of Medicaid expenditures before and after residents of Chicago public housing moved into new housing that met green healthy housing specifications. This is the first time that a study will assess the economic benefits of healthy housing in the U.S.
The study focuses on integrated pest management, control of excess moisture through building envelopes and condensation, indoor air quality improvements, and improving the understanding of how residential construction practices that use green principles affect health. The study hypothesis is that moving into modern low-income green healthy housing is associated with improved health and savings in health care expenditures for the occupants and for the Medicaid program, and improved housing affordability. The study will enroll approximately 300 residents previously housed in Chicago public housing (now demolished) that was known for its increased prevalence of asthma, respiratory health problems, lead poisoning, injury and other health hazards, who are now living in new, green, low-income housing (the “study group”). The study will also enroll approximately 100 residents living in non-green low-income housing as a comparison group. The goal of this study is to characterize occupant health factors and their relationship to new green affordable healthy housing, as well as the magnitude of reduced health care expenditures.