Resource

A Comparison of Medical Costs Between Residents of a Public Housing Redevelopment and Other Public Housing Units in Seattle, King County

Image of the Yesler Terrace Housing Redevelopment

Where we live and the quality of our housing and neighborhood determines many things, including access to healthy food, quality of education, and overall health and well-being. Place-based initiatives have shown promise in addressing health inequities of disadvantaged neighborhoods by investing in a continuum of support services across jobs, education, housing, and transportation. Yesler Terrace (YT) is a public housing neighborhood in Seattle currently undergoing such redevelopment with the aim of producing a mixed-income neighborhood with enhanced economic and educational opportunities. One outstanding question is whether community redevelopment initiatives can create healthier, more equitable neighborhoods, while also saving medical costs.

This study aimed to evaluate whether community redevelopment at YT was associated with lower medical costs compared with residents in low-density subsidized housing, known as scattered site units (SS). Medical costs were hypothesized to be lower among YT residents because of a greater use of preventive care and fewer avoidable medical encounters.