Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Health Sciences

First Committee Member

Shawn Gerstenberger

Second Committee Member

Michelle Chino

Third Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Fourth Committee Member

Vernon Hodge

Number of Pages

87

Abstract

A wide range of health conditions are associated with housing conditions, including asthma, respiratory infections, injuries, mental health issues, and lead poisoning. People in modern societies spend more than 90% of their time indoors, the vast majority of which is spent at home. Therefore, any new information on housing related health hazards in a population provides an opportunity for a new prevention program. Reports have shown that rental properties have more health related hazards than owner occupied housing, and rental properties are frequently occupied by low-income and minority individuals. This descriptive study intended to provide an overview of housing related health hazards in Clark County, NV rental housing, as no published data exists regarding conditions in that subset of housing. Information gathered as part of the operation of a landlord/tenant hotline, managed by the Southern Nevada Health District, was analyzed to determine: 1) the geographical distribution of reported housing related health hazards in rental properties, 2) if an association exists between either income or type of housing and the frequency of reported housing related health hazards in rental properties, and 3) the prevalence of specific categories of hazards in rental housing. Frequency distributions showed that reports of housing related health hazards in rental properties (N=3,523) are not equally distributed throughout the county even after adjusting for differences in the number of occupied housing units in an area. A Spearman's Rank Order correlation revealed a statistically significant inverse relationship (n = 21, r = -.877, p < .01) between median income of a zip code and reported housing related health hazards in that zip code. A Mann-Whitney U test indicated that the distribution of complaints is the same (n = 21, p > .05) across zip codes regardless of the predominant type of housing in that zip code. Frequency distributions of hazard category showed that mold, bed bugs, general maintenance, and cockroaches are the most frequently reported health hazards in Clark County rental housing. Reports of health hazards that are known asthma triggers made up 36.7% of the total reported health hazards in renter occupied housing, although this is thought to be a gross underestimate of the true prevalence due to reporting limitations. The results of this study contributed to narrowing the knowledge gap regarding housing conditions in renter occupied units in Clark County, NV and to the possibility of further analyses of the SNHD landlord/tenant hotline.

Keywords

Apartment dwellers; Housing and health; Public health; Urban health

Disciplines

Environmental Health | Environmental Health and Protection | Public Health

Language

English


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