Foreclosure sales permitted investors to purchase large volumes of low-cost residential properties after the last financial crisis, reshaping patterns of property ownership in low-income housing markets across the US. This study links post-foreclosure property acquisitions by investor-landlords to subsequent lead poisoning cases among children under age six living in Detroit, Michigan. We find that the odds of exhibiting elevated blood lead levels (≥ 5 μg/dL) are higher for children living in investor-owned homes purchased through tax foreclosure sale. These findings highlight the potential for property speculation in post-foreclosure housing markets to exacerbate severe and racialized burdens of excess lead toxicity in low-income communities.
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Environmental Health | Health Policy | Maternal and Child Health | Real Estate | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning
Eisenberg, A., Seymour, E., Hill, A. B., & Akers, J. (2020). Toxic structures: Speculation and lead exposure in Detroit’s single-family rental market. Health & Place, 64, 102390. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102390
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