Do simple structural home repairs improve the health of low-income Philadelphians and their neighborhoods? A BSRP (LDI) study
Over 6 million houses in the US are considered substandard and these deteriorating conditions are associated with a range of poor health outcomes, including injuries, respiratory disease, mental illness, and lead poisoning. Philadelphia has an old housing stock that, if not properly updated and maintained, may lead to poor health. This is particularly a concern for the 36% of homeowners who are also low-income, resulting in an already vulnerable population that may be unable to maintain or repair their home. The City of Philadelphia’s Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP) seeks to address this problem by providing grants of up to $17,500 to low-income households to correct electrical, plumbing, heating, structural, and roofing emergencies. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of the BSRP on the health of both individuals and neighborhoods with the following aims: (1) Describe the individual characteristics of those who have used the BSRP and neighborhood level characteristics of the blocks with BSRP houses over a 10-year time period. (2) Determine the extent to which the BSRP is associated with changes in individual health over a 10-year time period. (3) Determine the extent to which the BSRP is associated with changes in the neighborhood environment, particularly crime and blight, over a 10-year time period.