Healthy Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors Collaborative Releases Position Paper Documenting Health Crisis related to Slum Housing in Los Angeles | Business Wire

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Over three hundred community members, stakeholders. Public health

workers joined Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for a

People’s Hearing on Slum Housing and the unveiling of a position paper

documenting the health crisis related to slum housing in Los Angeles.

The position paper documented two years of work by the Healthy

Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors Collaborative. The collaborative includes

medical professionals, community health workers, tenant organizers.

human rights advocates. Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), St.

John’s Well Child and Family Centre, Los Angeles Community Action

Network (LA CAN). Esperanza Community Housing Corporation make up

the unique collaborative. Other panelists for the event included: CRA

Board Member Joan Ling. Los Angeles Housing Department Director of Code

Enforcement Domingo Sauceda. Tina Hess, Supervising Assistant City

Attorney. Ken Murray, Bureau Director of Environmental Health for

the LA County Department of Public Health.

A survey of 140 tenants by the collaborative found that 45% of tenant

units had mould. 75% had cockroaches. 40% had rats or mice, compared to

7% nationwide. When asked about their health the same group of tenants

reported significant rates of slum housing related illnesses including:

49% had chronic allergic symptoms. 42% had chronic skin rashes. 25%

reported suffering asthma and one of every 7 asthmatics reported

wheezing every night in the previous two weeks. 15% reported family

members who'd suffered lead toxicity.

Intensifying the problem is the public system in Los Angeles to monitor

and enforce housing codes, which is ineffective, inconsistent and does

not result in consequences that change the behaviour of professional and

criminal landlords. The collaborative set out to improve individual

health outcomes and environmental health conditions in targeted

buildings, improve housing and health practices and government

alignment. Increase the power of tenants to change policy and

practices. Of the 3,150 families in the pilot project properties, more

than 90% experienced major improvements in living conditions and 100%

reported an improvement in their health. One significant outcome of the

collaborative’s work was securing a commitment from the City Attorney’s

office to dedicate resources to large, criminal slumlord activity.

Paulina Gonzalez, 323-594-2349