Health and Housing in South Los Angeles By Lys Mendez up206a Final March 14, 2011
Health issues in South Los Angeles • South Los Angeles has the highest overall rates of disease and premature deaths in the county. • The region disproportionately suffers from lack of healthcare access, poor physical design and lack of quality housing. • The South Los Angeles service planning area has some of the county’s highest proportions of children with asthma and lead poisoning. • Transportation and money are barriers to medical care.
What can explain concentration of poor health outcomes in South Los Angeles? • There is evidence that several health issues in South Los Angeles can be linked to environmental conditions found in the home. • Prevalence of slum housing in region. • Over 18 percent of units built before 1939; less than 40 percent are owner-occupied • Almost 40 percent of units are overcrowded. • Lax code enforcement and inadequate inspections leave tenants with few recourses to fix housing issues.
What housing conditions are found in South Los Angeles Homes? A survey of patients from St. John’s Clinics in South Los Angeles found the following slum housing conditions in over 1,400 homes: • Rats • Bedbugs • Mold • Chipped paint • Leaking walls • Roaches
Policy question: can better housing regulations improve health outcomes in South Los Angeles? Links between housing and health
Efforts in South Los Angeles St. John’s Well Child and Family Center has ten clinics in South Los Angeles. The clinics work with a collaboration of community-based groups to organize tenants and fight for housing improvements. Tenants tend to be immigrant, low-income, or elderly residents with few financial or legal resources.
Policy Recommendations • Stricter housing codes that address housing environmental issues that affect health. • Better housing inspections and harsher citations that remove the incentive to be a slumlord. • Resources to organizations that address health and housing concerns in region. • Better coordination among school, health, and social services to address housing concerns. • Better transportation access in medically-underserved areas.
Skills Used • Inset map • Point/graduated symbol • Create index • Attribute subset selection • Buffering • Geocoding • Charts/graphs/images • Modeling • Metadata • Measurement/Analysis • Original data • Hotspot analysis
Information and pictures from: • Strategic Actions for a Just Economy • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health • National Center for Healthy Housing