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 CUS  Vol.6 No.1 , March 2018
Housing, Health, and Ageing in Texas Colonias and Informal Subdivisions
Abstract:
Literature on housing and health outcomes among the elderly generally covers issues such as the relationship between housing quality and health; the intersection between place and space at different stages in the life course; and the impact of public policy to mitigate negative morbidity and mental health outcomes. However, there is little research about the ways in which certain types of informally developed neighborhoods such as colonias and informal homestead subdivisions offer micro-level spaces and housing arrangements that are conducive to family building, household extension, and care for aging parents, but which also have negative outcomes especially for the elderly by exacerbating certain chronic health problems and impaired mobility. In short, space and place matters. This paper provides an overview of the literature on the intersection between housing and health, and drawing upon Texas survey data we explore how low-income (largely) Hispanic households access home ownership through informal homesteading and self-help in two informal subdivisions in Central Texas. Viewed across the life course, this colonia-type housing is associated with a number of particular negative health and mobility impacts especially among the elderly, while at the same time providing an affordable and socially embedded residential alternative of living through old age.
Cite this paper: Bogolasky, F. and Ward, P. (2018) Housing, Health, and Ageing in Texas Colonias and Informal Subdivisions. Current Urban Studies, 6, 70-101. doi: 10.4236/cus.2018.61004.
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