As the preeminent provider of affordable housing in Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) strongly believes in the importance of safe, stable, and affordable housing and the impact it has on the lives of individuals across the income spectrum. It serves as a critical foundation for achieving successful outcomes in all areas of individual, family, and community development.
“It’s our belief that our role as a housing authority is more than just putting a roof over our residents’ heads,” said FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna. “It’s also about making critical connections for our community’s most vulnerable residents to help enable them to achieve success in every facet of life – physically, intellectually, financially, and socially. Gaining a greater understanding of what their needs are is an essential component of that work.”
Case in Point
Recently, the FCRHA joined with George Mason University to examine this issue by measuring the perceptions of overall health, the ability to access health services, and overall health needs of Fairfax County households receiving federal housing assistance. The published research – “Subsidized Housing and Health: An Exploratory Study Examining Resident Perspectives on Community Health and Access to Care” – pointed out that while housing plays an important determinant in health outcomes, there are still few studies that have analyzed the health of individuals who receive federal housing assistance.
According to the study, findings indicated that Fairfax County residents receiving federal housing assistance experienced higher rates of depression and asthma, and experienced economic difficulties that directly affected their health (such as not being able to afford medications) when compared with a nationally representative sample drawn from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System. The complete findings are published in the latest edition of The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
What Does the FCRHA Do with Data?
In addition to informing our own ongoing supportive services for residents within our housing programs, the FCRHA works in collaboration with Fairfax County’s larger Health and Human Services System – a network of county agencies and community partners that support the well-being of all who live, work and play in Fairfax County. Together this network collaborates on data-driven efforts to forge connections and create synergies between their unique services and programs to serve the broad range of needs that exist among individual residents, families, and communities.
The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU) is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on contemporary health care issues of medically underserved communities. JHCPU addresses such diverse areas as health care access, quality, costs, legislation, regulations, health promotion, and disease prevention from a North American, Central American, Caribbean, and sub-Saharan African perspective. Regular features include research papers and reports, literature reviews, policy analyses, and evaluations of noteworthy health care programs, as well as a regular column written by members of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved is the official journal of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU).