Role of landlords in creating healthy homes: Section 8 landlord perspectives on healthy housing practices
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.
Purpose: Landlords are important stakeholders in creating a healthy home environment that can minimize tenant health issues such as asthma, falls, and lead poisoning. However, there are few studies in the literature that discuss healthy housing practices from the landlord's perspective. Specifically, Section 8 landlords offer a unique perspective on these issues as they are more likely to engage with vulnerable residents who are disproportionately affected by many of these health conditions. This presentation will share findings of a qualitative research study exploring Section 8 landlord perceptions of healthy housing practices to help guide future landlord-focused initiatives. Study Aims: 1) Understand how Section 8 landlords view their role in improving the healthy housing environment; 2) Identify perceived barriers and benefits to implementing healthy housing practices; and 3) Solicit suggestions on easing the adoption of these practices. Methods: This exploratory study comprised of five focus groups with Section 8 landlords in Boston, MA (n=40). Landlords were segmented by rental property size and their current engagement in healthy housing practices to identify differences by these characteristics. Results: Overall key themes included: (a) a lack of clarity surrounding landlord responsibility for creating a healthy housing environment; (b) financial burdens, tenant behaviors, and regulations as landlords' primary barriers to implementing healthy housing practices; and (c) financial incentives, regulatory requirements, and concern for tenant safety as their primary facilitators. Focus group findings also revealed important differences by rental property size in the extent to which Section 8 landlords were invested in some healthy housing practices (e.g., smoke-free housing policies). Conclusions: Landlords play a critical role in creating a healthy housing environment; however, they lack guidance and support to implement healthy housing practices. Several opportunities exist to reduce barriers and capitalize on perceived benefits of implementing healthy housing practices.
Public health or related research
Describe how landlords view their role in improving the housing environment as it pertains to health.
Identify perceived barriers and benefits of adopting healthy housing practices (e.g., integrated pest management, smoke-free housing, and window guards) from the landlord perspective.
Discuss ways to make it easier for landlords to adopt healthy housing practices.
Keyword(s): Environmental Health, Housing
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-lead for this research and have been involved in all aspects of the study, ranging from design to data collection and analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.