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Andrew Fenelon, Assistant Professor, Health Services Administration

HUD Rental Assistance, Neighborhoods, and Adult Health in the United States
When Dec 05, 2016
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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Since the early 1990s, US housing policy has largely focused on a shift from public housing projects to vouchers, aiming to avoid the negative effects of concentrated disadvantage. The current project uses the recent linkage of the National Health Interview Survey to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development administrative record to examine the effect of rental assistance on adult health and health care access, focusing on self-reported health, psychological distress, health insurance coverage, and cost-induced unmet health care need. The analysis compares Public Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, and Multifamily Housing. The results suggest that entering public housing and multifamily housing is associated with improved health outcomes. Compared to those who will enter public housing or multifamily housing within 2 years, those currently receiving assistance report better health and less unmet need. Alternatively, concurrent housing choice voucher participants do not show an advantage in health compared to those who will enter within two years. However, they are more likely to gain access to insurance coverage and report less unmet need. The results demonstrate that rental assistance, particularly public housing and multifamily housing, provides a notable health benefit and contrasts with existing policy expectations about the superiority of housing vouchers.


Dr. Andrew Fenelon

Dr. Andrew Fenelon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration in the School of Public Health at University of Maryland, College Park. His main research interests focus on health disparities, population health, health policy, and methods. His research has examined race/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in health in the United States, immigrant health and mortality, and cigarette smoking's impact on US life expectancy. He has worked on several projects surrounding the mortality advantage of Hispanics in the United States, demonstrating that a low burden of cigarette smoking makes a substantial contribution to the advantage of Mexican immigrants over US-born non-Hispanic whites. Dr. Fenelon's current research addresses the effects of HUD rental assistance on health, health care access, and neighborhood attainment in the US using the recent National Health Interview Survey linkage to HUD administrative records. This work highlights. the significant health and economic benefits of receiving rental assistance and provides important implications for social policies directed toward the reduction of health disparities.

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