In the interview, Raphael Bostic, PhD, Assistant Secretary, Policy Development and Research at the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), describes the recent changes in how the agency approaches housing and health.
"It used to be success for us was that someone had a voucher and was in a house. We didn't look much beyond that to say are other parts of their quality of life changing significantly. This has allowed us to focus much more broadly on what success means."
According to Bostic, the change in focus has also increased opportunities to partner with other federal agencies to address intransigent cross-disciplinary challenges. "The partnerships we've formed with HHS and other agencies here have been extremely positive-it's really my hope that those collaborations happening on a national level will eventually diffuse down. If we integrate health and housing policies at all levels, that will be very exciting."
Bostic also discusses specific programs and intended outcomes that reflect this integrated thinking, such as the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant. "What we're trying to do is facilitate and incentivize regional planning and more coordinated development of housing that is more sustainable, more walkable, closer to jobs and helps to make living easier, which should translate into real health benefits."