• The Housing-Health Connection
  • Volume 20, Number 2
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Connecting Fragmented Systems: Public Housing Authority Partnerships With the Health Sector

Stephen Lucas
Council of Large Public Housing Authorities

  • Objectives: The primary objective was to learn about the types of health partnerships and priorities large public housing authorities (PHAs) have developed to improve resident and community health.
  • Methods: The Council for Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) developed a survey that catalogued PHAs’ partnerships with the health sector to gain insight into health-related initiatives for residents. CLPHA conducted 15 indepth interviews to develop a survey instrument that was administered online in 2017. Participants included 39 PHAs (57-percent response rate) that collectively serve 24 percent of the 3.5 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-assisted public housing and housing choice voucher households nationally (n = 847,908).
  • Results: Large PHAs report high engagement with public health entities and community-based social service providers. Respondents also report working with healthcare service providers, including behavioral health providers and federally qualified health centers. The most common health-related activities in which PHAs are engaged include healthcare service coordination (87 percent) and improving healthy community resources (67 percent). Perceived barriers to establishing healthhousing partnerships and health-related programming or alignment include concerns about privacy or liability and lack of resources or capacity.
  • Conclusions: Large PHAs’ level of engagement with the health sector vary widely by agency as does the depth and breadth of established health partnerships.

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