The Little Rock Health Impact of Housing Project is an Arkansas Community Institute (ACI) organized initiative that examines the health impacts of substandard affordable housing for individuals living south of Interstate 630. ACI in conjunction with the Central Arkansas Re-Entry (CARE) Coalition, UALR School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic and UAMS College of Public Health contributed the information used in this report to ultimately link substandard housing to different types of diseases for Arkansas renters. The purpose of this report is to provide relevant information on the relation between low quality rental housing and poor health in order to begin the conversation between tenants, landlords, housing stake holders, and city officials to effectively plan a course of action that leads to better living conditions for renters in Arkansas.
Arkansas is the only state that does not have an Implied Warranty of Habitability which protects renters from living in hazardous conditions. The warranty sets minimum living requirements and essential services such as water, plumbing, heat, and air that must be kept up to standard for rental properties. Under this warranty, along with code enforcement laws, renters are protected against a “slumlord” who does not keep buildings up to code but still requires monthly payments for rent. Tenants living under slumlords have reported mold, poor ventilation, pests infestations such as roaches, ants, and rats, and water/sewage damage; Under these conditions, tenants may struggle from chronic, respiratory, and mental health diseases such as asthma, heart disease, respiratory infections, depression, and anxiety.
The report gives insight into the Interstate 630 barrier and its division of affluent white neighborhoods from poor communities of color, provides recommendations for how we can improve resources for neighborhoods south of 630, and statistical analysis the can be used to make the connection between substandard housing and diminished health. Read the full report here.