“Changing Gears”, a journalistic collaboration among NPR stations in Chicago, Michigan and Ohio, has begun airing a series examining the impacts of abadondoned housing in Midwest–especially in the Manufacturing Belt that spans from Illinois all the way to New York.
The heart of the belt encompasses metropolitan areas like Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland; the region, like most of the nation, has been significantly impacted by the econcomic recession. The 2008 real estate crash, a consequence of the downturn, continues taking a toll not only on the economy–but on population mental health as well.
To lead off its series “Empty Places: The Economic and Social Cost of Emptiness,” reporter Dustin Dwyer of “Changing Gears” talked with Dr. Lynn Todman, Executive Director of the Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE) at the Adler School, about that mental health impact of abandoned housing. She pointed to the vast amount of vacant housing in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood as an example: Vacant housing can lead not only to physical health issues but, as Dr. Todman pointed out, extensive mental health concerns as well.