Associations between inspections for unsafe housing conditions and evictions in New York City public housing buildings

J Community Health. 2022 Oct;47(5):849-852. doi: 10.1007/s10900-022-01114-3. Epub 2022 Jul 6.


Poor housing conditions and evictions are both associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes, such as increased risks for cardiovascular disease, depression, and injuries. However, the relationship between these two negative housing outcomes has received little quantitative study, including in public housing where exposure to these factors and to negative health outcomes are elevated. We therefore sought to examine the relationship between evictions and formal housing safety inspections triggered by tenant complains about poor conditions. We estimated a hierarchical logistic regression model assessing associations between housing quality inspections and evictions using data from January 2017 and March 2020 on 3,746 residential buildings within 299 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, adjusting for development size, funding type, and area-level social vulnerability indicators. The average Social Vulnerability Index percentile for the buildings included in this study was 0.90 (SD = 0.12), indicating that these buildings were in areas with greater social vulnerability than 90% of other census tracts in the state. Adjusted predicted probabilities of an eviction increased from 34 to 43% in the presence of a rodent inspection and from 34 to 46% in the presence of an indoor environmental inspection (p < 0.001 for both), indicating that inspections for unsafe housing conditions were associated with evictions at the building level. Substandard housing quality and evictions are important public health concerns. Policies to enhance protections for tenants against both of these social ills simultaneously may be needed to improve community health outcomes.

Keywords: Community health; Environmental health; Evictions; Housing insecurity; Public housing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Housing Quality
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Public Health
  • Public Housing*