Wednesday, April 10, 2019
What unseen health effects are caused by eviction, rent hikes, and the threat of foreclosure? How can healthcare providers and community organizers work together to bring more equity to our housing landscape? Is safe and affordable housing a human right?
These were some of the big questions on the agenda at a recent panel discussion on housing justice and health equity hosted by the Boston University Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health. The panel featured Thea James, VP of Mission at Boston Medical Center, who has played a central role in the hospital’s housing initiatives, flanked by a pair of housing activists and community organizers, Gabrielle René and Noemi Rodriguez, from the grassroots organization City Life/Vida Urbana. The impassioned and wide-ranging discussion, moderated by Dawn Belkin Martinez, a clinical associate professor at the BU School of Social Work who focuses on social justice, spanned run-ins with developers and landlords, ongoing community organizing efforts, and the recent push to revive rent control in Boston.