Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Shawn L. Gerstenberger

Second Committee Member

Michelle Chino

Third Committee Member

Carolee Dodge Francis

Fourth Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Fifth Committee Member

Max Gakh

Sixth Committee Member

Jennifer Keene

Number of Pages



Homes serve as a central function of our everyday lives, they are where most Americans spend a significant amount of time and money. The quality of our homes can impact our health. Poor housing can cause and contribute to preventable diseases and injuries, such as the development or exacerbation of asthma, neurological deficits, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. According to the American Housing Survey (2013) approximately 5.8 million homes, of 132 million homes in the United States, are in moderate to severe physical disrepair, with rental housing being at a disproportionate burden. According to 2013 U.S. Census, Clark County, Nevada has 713 thousand occupied housing units of which 2,855 lack plumbing and 4,281 units lack a kitchen.

This project evaluated the impacts of the Southern Nevada Health District’s proposed Rental Housing Policy, which aims to improve rental housing in Southern Nevada, by conducting a Health Impact Assessment (HIA). The health impact assessment identified inequities in essential service housing complaints. A significant relationship was found between residents earning below 80% median income and those who have gone without power, water, gas or ability to cool or heat their home. Analysis of Nevada BRFSS Adult Call-Back survey suggest that renters are 21% more likely to experience an asthma attack or episode then non-renters, a 25% increase in experiencing an asthma episode or attack among those who have more than 6 environmental asthma triggers in the home compared to those who report 1-2 triggers, and a 12% increase among those who report 3-5 triggers in the home compared to those who report 1-2 triggers. Although models suggest an increase in the odds of an asthma episode or attack among renters or those with greater number of environmental triggers all models failed to reach statistical significance.

Qualitative analysis indicated an overall need for rental housing policy and revealed concerns with displacement, adequacy of resolving housing complaints and specific vulnerabilities among those with a disability and those who report less than perfect credit. This HIA provides recommendations for implementation of rental housing policies that consider integration of housing agencies in Clark County, sustainability, marketing, education, changes to the current policy draft to improve housing & health equity, data management & monitoring, as well as, alternative scenarios that consider the impacts on determinants of health and limitations in funding.


displacement; health impact assessment; housing; housing inequities; housing tenure; social determinants of health


Public Health | Public Policy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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