According to the World Health Organization, social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. The Center for Disease Control groups SDOH into five domains :

  • Economic Stability
  • Education Access and Quality
  • Health Care Access and Quality
  • Neighborhood and Built Environment
  • Social and Community Context

In the United States, 1 in 10 people live in poverty, and many people can’t afford things like healthy foods, health care, and housing. SDOH also contribute to wide health disparities and inequities. For example, people who don’t have access to grocery stores with healthy foods are less likely to have good nutrition.

Housing instability and homelessness are key indicators within the Economic Stability and  Neighborhood &  Built Environment domains.  Housing instability can be defined by having trouble paying rent, overcrowding, moving frequently, couch surfing staying with relatives or friends, or spending more than 30-40% of income on housing.  Unsafe housing, forced evictions, housing instability, discrimination, and homelessness can have direct health effects on individuals and families.

The Fayetteville Housing Authority provides safe, quality, affordable housing as a basic human right to build community resilience, improve intergenerational public health outcomes, and increase equitable opportunities.

During Pride Month 2022, why is it so important that FHA live up to this mission?

RESEARCH IS INCREASINGLY CLEAR THAT STABLE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS A CRITICAL DRIVER OF POSITIVE OUTCOMES IN MANY AREAS OF LIFE, BUT SUCH HOUSING IS MUCH LESS ASSURED FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. 

  • 17% of sexual minority adults have experienced homelessness in their lives in comparison to 6% of cisgender straight people.
  • LGBT youth face more than twice the homelessness risk of heterosexual, cisgender youth.
  • 20% of sexual minorities experience homelessness before age 18.
  • Only twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have housing nondiscrimination laws that cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Arkansas is one of two states that bar local antidiscrimination laws.
US map of states detailing non discrimination ordinances he light to dark green scale indicates % of state population protected from discrimination based on both sexual orientation & gender identity; Orange round flag is 5 of state population protected by local ordinances from discrimination based both on sexual orientation & gender identity; Dark green stripes indicate state with law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity; dark orange stripes indicate state with law preventing passage/enforcement of local nondiscrimination ordinances.he light to dark green scale indicates % of state population protected from discrimination based on both sexual orientation & gender identity; Orange round flag is 5 of state population protected by local ordinances from discrimination based both on sexual orientation & gender identity; Dark green stripes indicate state with law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity; dark orange stripes indicate state with law preventing passage/enforcement of local nondiscrimination ordinances.

The light to dark green scale indicates % of state population protected from discrimination based on both sexual orientation & gender identity; Orange round flag is 5 of state population protected by local ordinances from discrimination based both on sexual orientation & gender identity; Dark green stripes indicate state with law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity; dark orange stripes indicate state with law preventing passage/enforcement of local nondiscrimination ordinances.

 

  • 19% of people who are transgender or gender non-conforming have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives
  • Homeless people have excessively high mortality rates as a result of complex comorbidities, multiple barriers to health and mental health care, and higher experiences of poverty.

Rental assistance, as provided through the Fayetteville Housing Authority Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs sharply reduces homelessness and other hardship. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development enforces regulations that ensure its programs are open to all eligible individuals regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We stand with the LGBTQ community against housing discrimination,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge says. “We ensure that housing is inclusive, welcoming, and safe for all.”

The Fayetteville Housing Authority is proud to celebrate PRIDE month and the history of the LGBTQ+ movement for equity and justice.  During this month and always, we recognize the work that remains to end discrimination and disparities that affect the LGBTQ communities and the increased intersectionality of our efforts in serving communities of color, sexual minorities, and other marginalized groups.

FHA seeks to be a part of the solution toward equality, justice, and the recognition of housing as a basic  human right.

Hexagon logo with Progressive Pride Flag within, company title belwoAudra Butler
Interim Deputy Director
audra@fayettevilleha.org

 

 

Additional Resources

USICH: HUD Reaffirms Commitment to Equal Access to Housing, Shelters, & Other Services Regardless of Gender Identity

Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative: Five Facts about Housing Access for LGBT People

The Williams Institute @ UCLA School of Law: Homelessness Among LGBT Adults in the US

The HIll – Changing America: New research ties housing instability to poor mental health in LGBTQ+ youth

Urban Institute: How Can We Reduce Housing Instability among LGBTQ Americans?

Opportunity Starts @ Home: LGBTQ Equity & Housing Fact Sheet