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Housing Impacts on Maternal Health

Housing Impacts on Maternal Health

Housing plays a significant role in infant and maternal health outcomes. From poor housing conditions that lead to negative environmental exposures, to neighborhood conditions that can be unsafe and lead to stress and unhealthy environments, to even the affordability and instability challenges in trying to stay housed and avoid homelessness, housing plays a significant role in the wellbeing of infants and birthing individuals.

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Housing Impacts on Maternal Health

Housing Instability Has an Inverse Relationship with Mental Illness

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year, Econometrica is highlighting the intersection between minority mental health and housing stability.

Studies have shown that while housing security contributes to better health and economic stability, housing insecurity is often associated with increased stress and anxiety, exposure to environmental hazards, and lack of access to food and other resources. As a result, housing insecurity has been found to increase a person’s risk for many mental health issues, including depression, suicide, and behavioral issues.

There are also significant racial disparities in housing insecurity, with Black, Hispanic, and other minority households more likely to be housing insecure than White households. Many of the States with the highest rates of housing insecurity—including Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and New York—have large minority populations. These disparities have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which housing insecurity has risen more dramatically for minority renters than their White counterparts.

These disparities in housing insecurity likely contribute to disparities in mental health outcomes, as housing insecurity intensifies mental ailments among those who are most impacted. Econometrica welcomes any opportunity to assist HUD and other organizations that are supporting minority mental health through secure housing options.

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Econometrica’s Imelda Flores Vazquez Honored

Lathisms: Latinxs and Hispanics in the Mathematical Sciences has chosen Imelda Flores Vazquez as an 2021 Lathisms honoree. Lathisms was founded in 2016 to showcase the work and contributions of Latinx and Hispanic mathematicians during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15. The organization has two goals: “celebrate mathematicians working outside of academia and highlight for future generations of mathematicians the many career possibilities that can be achieved with a mathematics degree.”

Imelda has been a key member of Econometrica’ Data Analytics Group since 2020. She is a mathematician and economist with years of experience leading economic, financial, and statistical analyses in the private and public sectors. She has led and performed policy and program evaluations, fiscal estimation of proposed legislation, budget forecasting, predictive analyses for program design, analyses on geographical disparities in health outcomes and health resources, and fraud detection for transparency programs. In particular, she is a subject matter expert on Medicaid data analysis and its State operations, the Accountable Care Organization model, the Oncology Care Model, and other alternative payment methods.

A profile about Imelda can be found in the September 2021 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society.