Analysis

Georgia Health Policy Center Conducting Study to Inform Housing Tax Credit Allocations

GRANTEE NEWS

Contact: Liz Imperiale, 404-413-0289

Georgia Health Policy Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

ATLANTA—The Georgia Health Policy Center in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University announced today that it will conduct a community development health impact assessment to optimize the impact of housing tax credit investments on the health of families and neighborhoods in Georgia.

The assessment is a tool to help policymakers identify the likely health impacts of a decision in another field, in this case, Georgia’s low-income housing tax credit plan. This study will assess how the criteria for allocating tax credits affects housing for vulnerable populations and community development, with the goal of improving the wellness of communities at the forefront.

“This study will be at the lead of an emerging field, connecting health to community development,” said Elizabeth Fuller, associate project director at the policy center.

The location and design of housing can affect a community’s health by determining residents’ access to healthy foods, opportunities for physical activity, and exposure to air or noise pollution. Georgia has an opportunity to improve the health of all residents by incorporating these health determinants into the statewide tax credit scoring criteria.

“Lack of financial resources makes it challenging, if not impossible, for individuals and communities to achieve optimal health, as research shows. Yet, understanding how to adjust financial policies in order to achieve the greatest positive impact on the health of vulnerable populations is still a work in progress,” said Fuller. “A health impact assessment will enable us to begin to understand some solutions to that issue as it relates to the allocation of low-income housing tax credits in Georgia.”

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