Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Policies for Action Program, this series of reports explore the role of law in housing equity and exploring innovative uses of law to improve health equity through housing.
Inclusionary zoning laws can serve as a mechanism to provide more housing opportunities by requiring or incentivizing developers to set aside a certain portion of new developments for affordable housing, and are designed to provide more affordable rental and/or owner-occupied housing for low to moderate-income individuals and families. Developers can sometimes meet the requirement by building affordable units off-site or pay into an affordable housing fund. Incentives for developers include expedited permitting, density bonuses, and zoning variances.
The authors describe Five Essential Public Health Law Services and suggest investment in the people, methods and tools needed to move major policy initiatives from conception to widespread implementation. The model reflects a transdisciplinary approach integrating public health legal practice with law-related surveillance, evaluation and enforcement functions usually performed by public health practitioners. As an elaboration of law-related activities within the Ten Essential Public Health Services, the framework can be used to define, evaluate and strengthen public health law functions.
George Washington University, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
This study examined economic and health outcome data from all 50 states between 1999-2010. The researchers find better health outcomes in states that enacted higher tax credits for the poor or higher minimum wage laws and in states without a right-to-work law that limits union power. These policies focus on increasing the incomes of low-income and working-class families, instead of on shaping the resources available to wealthier individuals.
Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allowed states and localities to enforce federal immigration laws. This study finds that the state-level enforcement of this law has had an adverse impact on the use of pregnancy and childcare-related health services by Hispanic and Latina women.
In 1938, the US Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) instituted a nationwide minimum wage rate that sets a minimum hourly payment amount for qualified employees across the country. Established at 25 cents per hour, it has since been increased 22 times. Congress last raised the federal minimum wage rate on July 24, 2009 to $7.25, which is roughly $15,000 per year for a 40-hour work week.
Zoning laws that mix residential units with commercial and public/civic destinations have the potential to increase walkability. This study finds that significant relationships exist between the range and precision with which the zoning ordinances have been written and the mixture of walking destinations that result within the areas.