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Congratulations to Assistant Professor Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley on receiving a $500,000, 3-year research grant!

I would like to use this opportunity to offer my public congratulations to Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley, Assistant Professor of Economics.  Together with co-authors at Syracuse University and the University of Georgia, Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley has received a $500,000, 3-year research grant from the MacArthur Foundation to examine the causal relationship between affordable elderly housing options and elderly health outcomes.  Well done. ~  Interim Dean, Kathryn Wilson

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The “How Housing Matters” Grant from the MacArthur Foundation is part of a research effort to discern the impact of affordable housing investments on social and economic outcomes besides providing shelter. The abstract submitted by Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley and her co-authors, Gary Engelhardt (Syracuse University) and Mike Eriksen (University of Georgia) can be found below.

Aging in Place, Access to Affordable Housing, and the Health and Living Arrangements of Older Americans

The lack of affordable housing for the elderly is a significant social problem. An important factor in private and public sector efforts to address housing needs is the strong complementarity between health and housing at older ages, suggesting housing and health issues should be considered in tandem.  Unfortunately, public agencies concerned with health and housing issues are split between the state, local, and federal levels.  This split is mirrored in academic research: those focusing on housing rarely consider health; those focusing on health rarely consider housing.

This proposal outlines an innovative approach to the empirical economic analysis of the relationship between affordable housing and the health, medical expenditures, and living arrangements of older Americans.  Detailed location-based data on subsidized and unsubsidized senior housing options as well as Medicare claims records will be merged to data on older individuals in the 1992-2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS).   The project has six specific aims:

  1. To analyze the determinants of the demand to age in place, with a focus on the role of local housing affordability.
  2. To examine the role housing affordability plays in long-term care, intergenerational transfers of time and money, and shared living arrangement decisions.
  3. To examine the impact of access to affordable housing options on the health and well-being of older Americans.
  4. To examine differential impacts by race/ethnicity, immigrant status, education, region, and proximity to kin.
  5. To examine the extent to which housing arrangements, especially those that integrate some amount of care, affect Medicare utilization and spending.
  6. To examine the impact of the Great Recession on housing affordability of older Americans, and the consequent impact on health, living arrangements and well-being.

The project makes three major contributions to the literature.  First, it seeks to expand empirical economic analysis about elderly housing affordability and its impact in a broad set of domains.  Second, it directly estimates the impact on the Medicare program of elderly affordable housing and residential choices.  Finally, it helps to illuminate the short-run impact of the Great Recession on older Americans.

The findings of this research program will be of interest to government officials, media, for-profit and not-for-profit private sector entities, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ASPE), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (PD&R), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA), and Congressional committees and staff with housing, health, and aging oversight.

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