Julie E. Lucero: Understanding the impact of gentrification on housing security and health within local Latinx families

Julie Lucero

Title

A study of the influence of housing instability on health and well-being for Latinx families in Washoe County, Nevada

Mentor

Julie E. Lucero

Department

Latino Research Center, College of Liberal Arts

Biosketch

Julie E. Lucero, MPH and Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Community Health Sciences and director of the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Using a community engaged research orientation, Lucero strives to achieve health equity by means of education, research, and policy development. Through the identification of modifiable social determinants, community-academic partnerships can reduce the burden of health inequities within underrepresented populations.

Project overview

This research investigates the causes, experiences, and service gaps related to unstable housing within Latinx communities in Northern Nevada. In collaboration with the University’s geography department and ACTIONN, the team recognizes the structural forces at play within housing inequities and related housing policies and envisions an urban future in which everyone has fair access to housing, an essential factor in healthy living. To date, city, county, and state policies have approached housing solutions through a one-size-fits all lens, despite the varying needs across housing insecure populations. With evidence-based research that outlines the specific experiences and needs of the Latinx community, our project aims to address racial inequalities in housing and the mechanisms by which these inequalities are created and exacerbated. Our contention is that stable housing is an important predictor of health and well-being and that race matters in understanding how housing stability and instability are experienced, navigated, and addressed. Because Latinx households tend to experience housing instability as a family unit, our project focuses on the multigenerational and gendered experiences of the family. Using a mixed-methods design guided by Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), the following research questions will be investigated:

  1. What are the causes of housing instability among Latinx families, and how are families experiencing and navigating housing instability in Washoe County, Nevada?
  2. How can affordable housing and food security services better meet the needs of Latinx families?
  3. How does housing instability impact family structure and influence networks of care and support?