The University of Illinois at Chicago has received nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to study the benefits of green healthy housing.
The funding was made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
UIC researchers will evaluate the health and monetary benefits when low-income residents move from distressed, unhealthy public housing into green, affordable, healthy housing.
At a time when the nation is simultaneously facing a housing problem, a financial crisis, unemployment, and rising health care costs, the project will help policymakers learn whether substantial savings in medical care may be achieved through green healthy housing, said David Jacobs, principal investigator of the project.
The first housing laws in this country were set up to deal with public health problems such as tuberculosis and cholera.
"The diseases we are now confronting are more chronic in nature," said Jacobs, who is adjunct associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UIC School of Public Health. "But we still think that housing plays a large role in health outcomes."
The study will enroll approximately 300 residents who previously lived in dilapidated housing that has now been demolished, but who now live in new green affordable housing. The demolished housing was known for increased prevalence of asthma, respiratory health problems, lead poisoning, injuries and other health hazards, according to Jacobs.
Researchers will compare data on the residents' health status before and after they moved.
The green healthy housing, developed by Brinshore Development, LLC, has improved energy efficiency, fresh air ventilation, smooth and cleanable surfaces, integrated pest management, improved moisture control, housing components without lead-based paint, and other green features, including building envelope improvements, insu
|Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzlez|
University of Illinois at Chicago