The housing crisis in the Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, and Adirondack areas has left many local employees without easy access to affordable housing within reasonable commuting distance. When I was looking six months ago, there was only one affordable apartment in the area, so I got it.
As an anecdote, I learned that many Manhattanites have purchased properties in North County and turned them into Airbnbs. These developments may prevent some local workers from obtaining viable housing.
As Abraham Maslow put it in his hierarchy of needs, before they can become self-actualized in life, they must first establish the basic foundation of having access to secure housing and nutrition, and the security it provides. Before the pandemic, there was already a shortage of affordable housing in North County. However, due to the pandemic, the shortage appeared to increase.
From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to late January 2021, more than 75 million unemployment insurance claims were filed across the United States. As such, it affects at least 25% of the US population, and by 2021, in total, he has risen to over 330 million.
A few years ago, in the 1950s and 1960s, family units were an integral part of every community. Families are now mostly separated from one another, and the emotional support that maintained family viability in the United States is undermined by a fragmented social existence. It is clear that those with it struggle to maintain their mental health.
These two variables, job insecurity and housing affordability, represent a double whammy affecting US citizens with only one income stream per household. To make matters worse, according to his October 2022 Adirondack Daily Enterprise article that also appeared in the Lake Placid News: “North County home prices are at their lowest in 33 years.”
Housing insecurity is an important component of the social determinants of health. Social determinants of health include income, language proficiency, education, and racial minority status, among other variables. Lack of these determinants, such as being a racial minority or being uneducated, contributes to poor physical and emotional health.
There are several adverse health effects associated with housing insecurity. These negative consequences include stress, increased sexual and physical victimization, increased substance abuse, and increased physical and mental health. Ethnicity, geographic location, sexual orientation , socioeconomic status, are characteristics that have been shown to be barriers to achieving good health. Other characteristics include cognitive, sensory, or physical impairments.
At least one developer in Lake Placid is trying to address those housing stats with new properties accessible via the housing lottery. This should help some North County residents find affordable housing.
A global research study has found an association between economic depression and suicidal behavior, especially among working-age working men.
A March 2021 article in Forbes estimated that: “Without federal intervention, 30 to 40 million people will be at risk of displacement in the coming months.” Biden’s stimulus package provided billions of dollars to help American citizens. The breakdown includes $21.5 billion to help finance utility payments and rent subsidies, as well as funding local and state governments to help low-income families who are behind on their rent payment schedules. was A total of $5 billion each to provide emergency housing vouchers to the homeless and to help those at risk of homelessness. Another $10 billion is planned to help homeowners pay their property taxes, utilities and mortgages.
Although clinical care is critical to maintaining the health of the U.S. citizen, social determinants of health, including income and housing security, actually provide more care than the medical community alone can provide. gives powerful results. Of note, 19 million households pay more than 50% of her annual income for housing. More than 21 million people pay 30-50% of their annual income on housing. This is not sustainable in the long term.
Over the past 30 years, it has been scientifically proven that both children and adults show independent associations between poor health and housing insecurity. In addition, access to care for adults shows an association between access to care utilization and degree of housing insecurity. Adults who experience homelessness have higher rates of emergency department visits, resulting in delays in needed care. There is no systematic way other than ER to help disadvantaged people find quality health care, both physically and mentally. Children who suffer from housing insecurity have an early onset risk of recreational drug abuse, emotional instability, increased teenage pregnancy rates and depression.
Looking at various correlations, such as those reporting housing insecurity, the most common associations are with middle-aged adults, minority group members, unmarried, and low-income populations. Access to care is essential for this population. In addition, there are associations between housing insecurity and inadequate care, poor health and the presence of chronic diseases.
As pointed out in the JAMA 2021 article by Linton et al. “In this nationally representative sample of US adults, housing anxiety was associated with increased psychological distress and lower self-assessment of health status during the COVID-19 pandemic. .” The conclusions acknowledge that interventions for housing insecurity may also reduce structured racism. Compared with cohorts of people experiencing housing security, cohorts of people with housing anxiety show lower self-rated health scores and higher levels of distress.
The known negative effects associated with housing insecurity have significant effects on mental health, but we need a better understanding of what can mitigate this effect.
A Spanish study found that 85.3% of men and 89% of women describe poor mental health related to housing insecurity. This was significantly higher than the 14.5% of men and 19.5% of women who make up Barcelona’s general population suffering from mental health problems. Housing insecurity plays a large and important role in its association with poor mental health.
It is understandable that housing insecurity can negatively impact physical and mental health. Without a consistent roof over their heads, individuals have no supportive foundation on which to build their lives. This negatively impacts food insecurity, employment and access to health care. In a domino effect of layers of support evaporating one after another, homeless individuals desperately need affordable housing and will benefit from it. Public-private partnerships can highlight private and public social entrepreneurship that can create safer housing in the North.
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