Rental assistance, provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the form of rental vouchers and project-based housing, is a primary source of affordable housing for low-income households in an increasingly unaffordable rental market. However, due to supply constraints, fewer than 1 in 4 eligible households receive rental assistance. Emerging evidence suggests that this unmet need for rental assistance may have implications for population health, and in particular for the health of individuals living with chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. In this presentation, I will examine the relationship between rental assistance receipt and health, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data across multiple studies. I will first describe nationally representative and local cohort studies that find associations between rental assistance receipt and self-rated health. I will then present data from an in-depth qualitative study of low-income adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants in this study describe multiple ways that the receipt of rental assistance or lack of affordable housing options shape their ability to develop and maintain consistent diabetes self-management routines.
Speaker Biography - Danya Keene, Ph.D.
Danya Keene, Ph.D.
Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health
Danya Keene is an Assistant Professor of Social Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her mixed-methods research broadly explores how social policies contribute to health inequality, with a particular focus on issues related to housing and place. For example, her work has examined how urban revitalization and public housing demolition affect the health of low-income African American communities in Chicago, Atlanta and nationally. Her research has also examined linkages between home foreclosure, mortgage strain and health. Dr. Keene is also interested in social stigma and its relationship to geographic and social inequality. For example, her research has examined negative representations of place or ‘spatial stigma’ as an understudied mechanism that connects places to the health of their residents. In her current work, Dr. Keene is using qualitative interviews and nationally representative data to examine relationships between affordable housing access diabetes management behaviors and outcomes. Dr. Keene received her PhD in Public Health from the University of Michigan and was an RWJF Health & Society Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
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