The social determinants of health—or the conditions in which people live, work, play and age—are known to impact one’s health far more deeply than healthcare itself. Having access to affordable, safe and stable housing, nutritious food, a steady job, a good education and safe streets are all critical predictors of a person’s and a community’s health.
South Florida faces unique challenges in this respect. It has been ranked as one of the most unequal and unaffordable and metropolitan areas in the United States, with 49 percent of Miami-Dade’s and 44 percent of Broward’s households being spending more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing alone. In the last two decades, housing costs have increased meaningfully while incomes have declined for all but the top 5 percent of households. All of this has resulted in a disturbing prosperity gap that’s excluded far too many residents from the region’s economic upswing. This gap is sure to be exacerbated with the recent COVID19 pandemic, which caused disproportionately negative impacts on black and Hispanic residents but also unleashed economic hardship on already vulnerable communities.