Neighborhood Context, Homeownership and Home Value: An Ecological Analysis of Implications for Health

Publication Abstract

Mehdipanah, Roshanak, Amy J. Schulz, Barbara A. Israel, Graciela Mentz, Alexa Karra Eisenberg, Carmen Stokes, and Zachary Rowe. 2017. "Neighborhood Context, Homeownership and Home Value: An Ecological Analysis of Implications for Health." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(10): 1098.

While homeownership has been linked to positive health outcomes there is limited evidence regarding the conditions under which it may be health protective. We present a conceptual model linking homeownership to health, highlighting key potential pathways. Using the Detroit Metropolitan Area as a case study, and data from the American Community Survey (2009-2013; 5-years estimates) and Michigan Department of Community Health, we tested the following questions: (1) Is neighborhood percentage non-Hispanic Black (NHB) associated with homeownership? (2) Is neighborhood percentage NHB associated with health? (3) Is the association between percentage NHB and health mediated by homeownership? (4) Does neighborhood housing value modify associations between percentage NHB and health, or between homeownership and health? Percentage NHB was associated with homeownership and health outcomes; Associations between percentage NHB and mortality, but not disability, were partially mediated by neighborhood homeownership. Neighborhood housing value modified associations between neighborhood homeownership and both disability and mortality, but not between percentage NHB and health outcomes. Findings are consistent with the thesis that health-promoting effects of homeownership may be contingent upon house values. These results add to a limited body of evidence suggesting that variations in homeownership may contribute to persistent racial and socioeconomic health inequities.


race mortality disability Detroit Metropolitan Area health inequities homeownership housing value

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