Evictions Harm the Health of Massachusetts Children

by | Jul 10, 2023 | Landlord Tenant Law |

Harvard Medical School student Bruce Ramphal has published an analysis of past research on evictions and their health impact, working with collaborators from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Law School and the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

Drawing on 11 previously published studies, the team found that housing stability is an important determinant of child health and overall development. Every study in its review identified at least one poor health outcome associated with experiencing an eviction, including low birth weight, premature birth, and worse cognitive development and overall health as rated by the parent.

The researchers also highlighted an emerging link between childhood adversity and adult risk for a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment. Preventing evictions may therefore be a good public health investment, Ramphal said.

More than 2 million eviction filings occur in the US annually, producing almost 1 million completed evictions. Many more informal evictions occur each year, in which property owners evict tenants without using the legal system, the research team said.

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