Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Africana Studies


Understanding the social determinants of health is essential when looking at low-income minorities in urban cities. Social determinants of health are conditions in the environment in which people are born, which affects a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes. Amongst other determinants, adequate housing can have a significant influence on population health outcomes such as asthma. Zoning inequality negatively and disproportionately impacts the health and the overall quality of life of low-income minorities; zoning is correlated to environmental injustice fueling adverse health effects and health disparities among low-income minority populations. Without the opportunity to receive adequate and affordable housing, communities of color will continue to be burdened by zoning regulations and strained by the environmental injustices–leading them to put their health at risk in hazardous areas. This paper seeks to review the state of the literature on the impact of zoning on environmental injustice, social determinants of health, exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants and outcomes for asthma, with particular emphasis on how hypersegregation exposes people of color to environmental injustice in urban areas. The literature review shows that differences in neighborhood racial demographics and income result in more exposure to environmental injustice and asthma outcomes in New York City. Under representation and under-maintained public housing in black communities has also been associated with disparities in health outcomes.


Written for AFS 250: Housing & Race

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.