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Course Directory

Housing Insecurity and Health

East Baltimore
4th term
Health Behavior and Society
3 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  5:00 - 7:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Amy Knowlton

The course introduces students to housing insecurity (per HUD, lacking affordable, quality housing in a safe, adequate neighborhood; and loss of housing) as a public health and equity concern. We situate housing insecurity within the historical and current context of displacement, redlining, eviction and other practices and policies perpetuating racial segregation and disparities in community resources, risks, and health. We consider its disparate impacts in the US on women and minorities and, globally, low-income countries; and the role community organizations and service-learning in social change for housing security for all and health equity.

Introduces the issues of homelessness and its relationship to health. Presents factors leading to homelessness, myths about homelessness, barriers to accessing services, health problems that arise from homelessness, multidisciplinary approaches to health care from homeless persons, and advocacy strategies.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Compare definitions and measurements of housing insecurity and homelessness and describe their links to health (mental, physical and social).
  2. Describe demographic differences in housing insecurity or homelessness and how they are related to systems of power (race, gender, class).
  3. Explain how redlining and other policies and practices drive growing inequities in housing security, community development and family/support network resources important to health.
  4. Apply a social ecological framework to identify multi-level structural factors (e.g., interpersonal, family, community, institutional) linked to secure housing, and potentially homelessness prevention, among vulnerable populations.
  5. Compare and contrast the role of critical service-learning vs charity volunteerism in making visible injustices (policies and practices) that promote housing insecurity and in enabling social change.
  6. Demonstrate practices (reflection, listening) for cultivating awareness of injustices and relationships of mutuality to help redress them.
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Participation
  • 30% Midterm Paper
  • 30% Reflection
  • 10% Group Presentation

Instructor Consent:

No consent required