Housing as Health Care Initiative

Where you live has an impact on your health.

It has been widely established that housing is a key social determinant of health, and that unstable and substandard housing can lead to negative health outcomes. The UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate's "Housing as Health Care Initiative" seeks to raise awareness about issues related to the intersection between housing and health care sectors. From housing affordability and food insecurity to community-based health and neighborhood economic stability, this initiative takes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach by partnering with other UCLA schools and groups, along with external organizations, to connect academicians, industry and community leaders, policymakers, and students with the goal of promoting greater understanding of these challenging issues.

Initiative Details

BIA Ziman sponsor Ziman sponsor BIA Ziman sponsor Ziman sponsor


The Ziman Center's Housing as Health Care Initiative will invite practitioners, policymakers, and scholars to UCLA for lectures that enlighten and engage students on the concepts and issues related to housing, health and the built environment.

Conferences and Symposia

The Initiative will support an annual conference or symposium focused on housing and built environment-related issues such as housing affordability, food insecurity, community-based health outcomes and neighborhood economic stability.


Each year, an exclusive group of students are chosen to serve one-year terms as Distinguished Fellows via the Howard and Irene Levine Distinguished Fellows Program. The Levine Fellows Program augments the training of the most gifted and ambitious students pursuing real estate education in the areas of housing affordability, related policy and sustainability at UCLA Anderson, UCLA Law, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Fellows are selected for their passion for real estate and social responsibility, academic accomplishments, leadership, and service to UCLA's real estate program. Levine Fellow candidates possess an active interest in low-income and/or workforce housing affordability, related policy, housing and health, sustainability and redevelopment.

Research Support

The UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate annually awards research stipends to UCLA faculty, postdoctoral and visiting scholars to undertake innovative research in the field of real estate finance and economics, urban and regional economics, public policy, urban planning, housing and health, and property law. Academic research papers funded by the Ziman Center's Howard and Irene Levine Program in Housing and Social Responsibility and UCLA Gilbert Program in Real Estate, Finance and Urban Economics are disseminated via the UCLA Ziman Center Working Paper Series.

In addition, the Ziman Center disseminates a monthly UCLA Economic Letter sponsored by the UCLA Gilbert Program. The Economic Letter draws upon original research, policy analyses and forecasts produced by UCLA academics and rewritten into a digestible format.

Date Title Authors
TBA 2019 Health on Main Streets and Central Business Districts of America Brian Cole, Michael Jerrett, Christina Batteate (UCLA Fielding School of Public Health) and Madeline Brozen (UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs)
TBA 2019 Housing Price Dynamics and Health Outcomes in the United States Dahai Yue, PhD Candidate, Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
TBA 2018 Epidemiologic Study of Housing Location and PM2.5 and NO2 Level Exposure and Childhood Leukemia and CNS Cancers Andrew Nguyen, MPH, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
November 16, 2017 Unhealthy Priorities: Reallocating Medical Expenditures to Social Programs Can Improve Public Health and the Economy Linda Diem Tran, Frederick J. Zimmerman, and Jonathan E. Fielding

Join Us


Upcoming Events

AY18/19: Housing, Neighborhood, and Health Lecture Series
In partnership with UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, we present the following seminars:

November 29, 2018
"Beyond Zip Codes: Unpacking the Place-Health Nexus" 
presented by Paul Ong, PhD (Research Professor and Director, UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; Gilbert Program Senior Fellow, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate)
Place matters, as captured by the popular statement that asserts that a person's zip code is a better predictor of health status than the person's DNA. Social determinants are intertwined with the urban spatial structure, residential patterns and the geography of opportunities. This talk explores underlying causal paths that link place characteristics, location accessibility and transportation resources to health outcomes and systematic disparities. 

Winter 2019:
"Urban Green Space and Health" 
presented by Jun Wu, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Public Health and Epidemiology, University of California - Irvine)
More than half of the world population lives in urban areas, and this proportion is expected to increase. Massive and rapid development of urbanization, unless carefully controlled by adequate comprehensive urban planning, often leads to the destruction of local natural resources. Health impacts are a rising concern of such urban modifications. Vegetation in urban environments has potential to improve health through several pathways, including stress recovery, encouragement of physical activity and facilitation of social cohesion, improved immune status, and mitigation of exposure to several risk factors such as noise, heat and air pollution. This talk will discuss the beneficial effects of urban green spaces on health outcomes such as birth outcomes, cardiovascular health, and mental health.

"Transit, Sustainability and Health" 
presented by Doug Houston (Associate Professor, Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy, School of Social Ecology, University of California - Irvine) 

Spring 2019:
"Exploring the Link between Green Landscapes and Happiness in a Desert Metropolis" 
presented by Deirdre Pfeiffer, Ph.D., AICP (Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University; Gilbert Program Visiting Scholar, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate)
It is well documented that people experience health benefits through exposure to green landscapes. One theory is that this effect derives from innate preferences that people have for green landscapes, which have roots in our early ancestors' struggle to live off the land. However, another theory is that the link between landscape colors and wellbeing derives from people's exposure and attachment to landscapes, which implies that the effect of green on wellbeing may be weaker in more brown and arid landscapes. The purpose of this research is to explore how exposure to green affects one aspect of wellbeing-happiness-among inhabitants of a desert city, where green in the natural environment is scarce, and whether exposure and attachment to the natural desert environment may mediate this relationship.   

"Green Space and Youth IQ: A Longitudinal Analysis" 
presented by Pan Wang, PhD (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research)
There has been a wealth of evidence for the beneficial effect of green space on mental health, but research is scarce with regard to its impact on cognitive development. In this study, we examined the associations between green space and IQ spanning two different developmental stages: pre-/early-adolescence (aged 9-11) and emerging adulthood (aged 18-20). We found strong evidence for higher IQ scores associated with increased exposure to green space at one year preceding each IQ assessment. This association was more evident for Verbal IQ (VIQ), but less for Performance IQ (PIQ). It is well acknowledged that VIQ usually taps into the intelligence concerning acquired knowledge while PIQ is more concerned about capabilities to reason and solve novel problems. Therefore, VIQ is under more influences of environmental exposures, specifically exposure to green space in this study. Our study provide strong evidence for green space being a contributing factor to social disparities in cognitive development. 

"The Impact of Gentrification on Adult Mental Health"
presented by Linda Diem Tran, MPP (Graduate Student Researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research)
Using detailed respondent and residential information available in a large, continuous population-based survey in California, this study sought to understand the causal effect of gentrification on adult residents' mental health and identify residents most impacted.  Findings show that living in gentrified neighborhoods has a mental health cost on adults with low income, renters, and longtime residents.

Past Events

"Designing Healthy Communities Symposium"
In partnership with the UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.  This symposium convened the authors of the groundbreaking book, "Urban Sprawl and Public Health," among many other experts, to explore the past, present and future of the field of built environment and health, and examine the changing landscape of the built environment's effects on individual to community health by presenting scientific, community, policy and practice perspectives under the themes of housing, justice, transport, and open space.  Click here to view presentations from the symposium. 

"Investing in Communities: How Profit is Possible in the Affordable Housing Space"
@ UCLA Anderson's Impact Week 2018
In partnership with Impact@Anderson, the Ziman Center presented a panel discussion focused on Affordable Housing and Investing in Communities, featuring speakers from the investor, banking, and developer arenas. Panelists shared their perspectives and experiences with the social impact return on housing investments and the integration of health-related parameters to these investments. 

AY15/16: "Housing as Healthcare Forum"
Following on the success of the inaugural forum on affordable senior housing and long-term care delivery, the Ziman Center's Levine Program and Mercy Housing California jointly presented a critical follow-up forum with leading senior housing and healthcare experts to examine how our current health and housing systems are stopping or limiting solutions to the complicated problems of caring for seniors.

AY14/15: "Preparing for the Senior Tsunami: The Future of Affordable Housing & Long-Term Care"
The UCLA Ziman Center's Levine Program and Mercy Housing California jointly presented a special and timely forum with leading senior housing and healthcare experts to discuss innovative approaches to addressing California's rapidly growing aging population.

Learn More

Where You Live Matters to Your Health
Housing Instability and Health
Food Insecurity
Intergrating Housing and Community Health

For more information, please contact:

Christina Green, MBA, MPH
Program Manager, Housing as Health Care Initiative
UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate 
christina.green@anderson.ucla.edu | (310) 825-3322