Quality affordable housing is hard to find and so are

Info icon This preview shows pages 5–7. Sign up to view the full content.

Quality affordable housing is hard to find, and so are safe places to play and exercise. Sixty-five years ago, Richmond was a boom town. During World War II, the Kaiser shipyard ran 24 hours a day. The war effort drew workers of all ethnicities. But when the war ended and the shipyards closed, thousands of jobs left. Many white families took advantage of federally- backed loans to start fresh in new areas, but discriminatory policies and practices excluded people of color from those same opportunities. Between 1934 and 1962, less than 2% of $120 billion in government-backed home loans went to non-white households. In Northern California around the same time period, out of 350,000 federally guaranteed new home loans, only 100 went to Black families. All across America, in cities like Richmond, African Americans were left behind in increasingly neglected neighborhoods. As social conditions worsen, so does health. Studies have shown, for example, that living in a disadvantaged neighborhood leads to a 50-80% increase in risk for heart disease – the number one killer in America. One reason is chronic stress. Worrying about violence, lousy schools, and unpaid bills; living in substandard housing or a polluted environment; not having good access to fresh food, reliable transportation, or safe public spaces – all of these have a negative, even toxic effect on health. In the Pacific Northwest, a neighborhood that was once much like Richmond, High Point in West Seattle, is emerging as a promising alternative. Community members, local government and developers took a radical approach in rebuilding this neighborhood – using federal funding to create a mixed-income community with health as its focus. Here, community gardeners grow and sell organic produce to other residents; neighbors socialize along clean, safe streets; children play in the park; and families with asthma breathe easily in specially-designed homes. Although High Point isn’t perfect, it’s an example of what can happen when residents, government agencies, local officials, foundations and private business work together and take health into account. As Harvard’s David Williams reminds us, “Housing policy is health policy. Neighborhood improvement policies are health policies. Everything that we can do to improve the quality of life for individuals in our society has an impact on their health and is a health policy.”
Image of page 5

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? – Episode Descriptions Page 6 © California Newsreel 2008 EPISODE 6 - COLLATERAL DAMAGE (29 mins) The lives and health of Marshall Islanders in the equatorial Pacific were disrupted in a unique fashion when the United States used their outer islands for extensive nuclear testing after World War II. Between 1946 and 1958, 67 atomic devices were detonated – the estimated yield equivalent to 1.7 Hiroshima blasts every day for 12 years.
Image of page 6
Image of page 7
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
  • Summer '18
  • Jeanne Hughes
  • Alex Drake

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern