Keeping Sick Buildings from Making Children Sick
The buildings were sick and making children sicker. But a unique Cincinnati Children’s medical-legal partnership is keeping some low-income kids from suffering the ill effects of substandard housing.
Doctors from Cincinnati Children’s and lawyers with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati collected data showing a concentration of sick patients living in 16 of 19 affordable housing apartment complexes, all owned by the same absentee landlord, NY Group.
“We were shocked when we saw the same management,” said Dr. Andrew Beck, a Cincinnati Children’s pediatrician specializing in asthma and lead author of a Pediatrics article on the project.
Of the 45 Cincinnati Children’s clinic patients living in a unit owned by NY Group, 36 percent had asthma, 33 percent had developmental delay or behavioral disorder, and 9 percent had elevated lead levels.
To date, 11 of the 19 NY Group buildings have received systematic repairs.
The medical-legal partnership is saving lives, said Ozie Davis, president of the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corp. “That’s no exaggeration and as concrete as I can get.”
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