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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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