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Housing Quality by Disability, Race, Ethnicity, and Rural-Urban Location: Findings From the American Community Survey

Housing quality plays a crucial role in determining the health and well-being of individuals and communities. A recent policy brief sheds light on this issue by exploring the relationship between housing quality indicators and factors such as disability, race, ethnicity, and rural-urban location. The brief, based on data from the American Community Survey, reveals important insights into the disparities in housing conditions across different populations.

One of the key findings of the study is the disparity between rural and urban housing conditions. It was discovered that a higher proportion of rural residents live in substandard housing, with incomplete plumbing and incomplete kitchen facilities, compared to their urban counterparts. Shockingly, this amounts to over 368,000 rural residents and a staggering 1.5 million urban residents living in inadequate conditions.

The research also highlights the impact of disability on housing quality. Across both rural and urban areas, adults with disabilities are more likely to experience incomplete plumbing and incomplete kitchen facilities than those without disabilities. This reveals a significant barrier to accessing suitable housing for disabled individuals, regardless of their geographical location.

Furthermore, when examining the rural-urban divide among people with disabilities, the study uncovered that rural residents with disabilities have the highest proportion of substandard plumbing, indicating a critical need for improved housing infrastructure in rural areas for this vulnerable population.

The policy brief also delves into the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, and housing quality. Among all racial and ethnic groups, rural American Indian or Alaska Native communities face the highest proportion of incomplete kitchen facilities (3.53%) and incomplete plumbing (5.13%). This disparity is notably higher than that of their urban counterparts or other racial and ethnic groups, underscoring the need for targeted interventions to address housing inequities in these communities.

In conclusion, the policy brief demonstrates the pressing need for comprehensive strategies to improve housing quality, particularly in rural areas, and to address the disparities faced by disabled individuals and certain racial and ethnic communities. Policymakers and advocates can utilize this research to inform and implement policies that promote equitable housing opportunities for all, regardless of their disability status, race, ethnicity, or rural-urban location.

*For the full policy brief and detailed findings, please click here.*

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