Publication Title: 
Northeastern University Law Review
Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019

This article outlines 23 legal mechanisms, or levers, that may impact health equity in housing in the United States, and reviews the evidence base evaluating each lever.

The article introduces a model that divides the levers among five core domains intended to promote greater health equity in housing:

  1. Increasing the Supply of New Affordable Housing
  2. Maintaining Existing Housing as Affordable, Stable and Safe
  3. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
  4. Protecting and Enhancing Economic Choice for the Poor, and
  5. Governance and Planning

These levers include the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, nuisance property ordinances, inclusionary zoning laws, rent control, fair housing protections, and the minimum wage, among others.

The evidence base regarding the impact of these levers, the authors find, is minimal, and the number of quality, rigorous scientific studies is even smaller.