The HOPE VI Panel Study research has highlighted that many residents of distressed public housing face severe health challenges. At the baseline in 2001, HOPE VI Panel Study respondents from Chicago and the other four study sites were in far worse health than other low-income households. The 2003 and 2005 follow-ups showed this problem intensifying over time.
The 2009 follow-up of the CHA Panel Study shows that respondents' well-being has improved in important ways—they now live in housing that is substantially higher-quality and in neighborhoods that are dramatically safer. However, in this brief, we present findings that show that despite these improvements, respondents' health has continued to deteriorate rapidly; the level of reported health problems in 2009 are stunning, and the mortality rate is shockingly high.
The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the full report in PDF format. Part of the CHA Families and the Plan for Transformation brief series.
The HOPE VI Panel Study research has highlighted
that many residents of distressed
public housing face severe health challenges.
In 2007, we argued that this problem was
so serious that it should receive the same
policy focus as unemployment (Manjarrez,
Popkin, and Guernsey 2007; Popkin, Levy,
and Buron 2009).
Because of the well-documented link
between physical environment and wellbeing
(see Lindberg et al. forthcoming), the
HOPE VI Panel Study included a focus on
resident health. At the baseline in 2001,
HOPE VI Panel Study respondents from
Chicago and the other four study sites were
in far worse health than other low-income
households, reporting high rates of overall
poor health, as well as of asthma and depression
(Popkin et al. 2002). The 2003 and 2005
follow-ups showed this problem intensifying
over time: in 2005, two out of every five
respondents (41 percent) in Madden/Wells
and the other four sites rated their health as
either "fair" or "poor." Further, at every age
level, respondents were much more likely to
describe their health as fair or poor than
other adults overall and even than black
women, a group with higher-than-average
rates of poor health. Not only did respondents
report high rates of disease, they were
also clearly debilitated by their illnesses: one
in four respondents reported having such
difficultly with physical mobility that they
could not walk three city blocks, climb
10 steps without resting, or stand on their
feet for two hours (Manjarrez et al. 2007;
The 2009 follow-up of the Chicago
Housing Authority (CHA) Panel Study
shows that respondents' well-being has
improved in important ways—they now
live in housing that is substantially higherquality
and in neighborhoods that are dramatically
safer than the Madden/Wells
development (Buron and Popkin 2010;
Popkin and Price 2010). However, in this
brief, we present findings that show that
despite these improvements, respondents'
health has continued to deteriorate rapidly;
reported health problems in 2009 are stunning,
and the mortality rate is shockingly
high. In our report on the 2005 follow-up
(Manjarrez et al. 2007), we stated that the
health situation was "so severe that it calls
for urgent attention and new approaches
to providing services to this extremely
vulnerable population." Four years later,
the urgency has only increased. The need
for strong and effective action is now even
(End of excerpt. The full report is available in PDF format.)
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