Recent statistics from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlight the healthy lives enjoyed by a majority of the residents of Los Angeles County. That Foundation has produced data relating to life expectancy. According to that data, men and women in Los Angeles County can expect to live an average of 81.36 years.
The Johnson Foundation examines those factors that appear to affect the health of the residents within any county. In the past it has focused on high school graduation rates, access to healthy foods, rates for smoking, rates for obesity and rates for teen births. During the past year, it has chosen to add one other factor to that list.
That added factor is the level of affordable housing. The Foundation’s literature points out three reasons why affordable housing gets linked to residents’ health. One reason seems quite obvious: If a family must spend a great deal of money on housing costs, it has less money to spend on food.
Two other factors that affect a community’s health can have an increased impact, in areas that lack affordable housing. When young students must devote a great deal of time to the task of getting to and from school, their studies suffer. By the same token, it becomes easier for teens and adults to find a job in an area that is located close to good-paying jobs.
The members of the Johnson Foundation do not stop with highlighting the magnitude of a problem. Those same men and women also suggest solutions. In this case, the Foundation’s members have come up with 2 proposed solutions.
One solution relates to the actual nature of the building in which families can take up residence. Guided by its belief in that particular solution, the Foundation has encouraged the planning and construction of developments that contain mixed-use structures. The other suggested solution relates to the education of adults. It calls for an increase in the availability of adult vocational training.
Those suggested solutions leave unanswered objections made in some places that have tried at least one such solution. For instance, some residents of west Los Angles have criticized some of the recent attempts at mixed use housing. Those are buildings with stores on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. Not all of the area’s residents liked the new building’s architectural style. Perhaps the Johnson Foundation needs to warn against prioritizing style over good health practices.
Source: Patch, rwjf.org