Meghan Jenkins Morales recently started a project entitled HUD Rental Assistance and Healthy Aging in the Current Long-Term Care Landscape.
Abstract In the United States, population aging is coinciding with a growing affordable housing crisis. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides rental assistance to roughly 1.6 million older adults, but assistance falls substantially short of demand with only 33% of income eligible older households receiving assistance. Given the scope and importance of HUD rental assistance programs in the US, it is surprising how little we know about the health and long-term care (LTC) needs of older HUD renters. Recent studies have found that HUD rental assistance is associated with improved self-rated health, psychological well-being (Fenelon et al., 2017), and healthcare access (Simon, Fenelon, Helms, Lloyd, & Rossen, 2017), but these studies either do not include or do not specifically examine these effects among older adults. To address this gap in the literature, this project will examine if receiving HUD rental assistance promotes healthy aging. Data on low-income renters age 60 and older from 18 years (1999-2016) of pooled cross-sectional NHIS-HUD data will be used to describe and compare the health/functioning, healthcare access/use, and adverse health events experienced by older HUD renters compared to unassisted low-income older renters (Aim 1). Multivariate regression models will also be used to examine healthy aging outcomes among older renters currently living in HUD housing, compared to older renters who will enter HUD housing within two years, the average HUD waitlist duration (Aim 2). This “pseudo waitlist” control group method (comparing concurrent to future HUD recipients) accounts for selection into HUD assistance, a common limitation of prior work. The results of this project will help improve services to older HUD renters and inform the development of service systems that integrate housing and health