Built environment exposures of adults in the moving to opportunity experiment

This article describes environmental exposures of adult participants in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing experiment over a four to seven year period from baseline to the interim evaluation. The MTO experiment randomized participants living in public housing or private assisted housing at baseline into experimental and control groups and provided a housing voucher for experimental group participants to move to neighbourhoods with less than 10% of the population below the poverty line. However, few studies have examined how this move affected exposures to health promoting environments. We used data on residential locations of MTO participants and archival data on the built and food environment to construct environmental exposure variables. MTO participants in the experimental and Section 8 groups lived in neighbourhoods with higher food prices, less high intensity development and more open space relative to the control group. The findings suggest that housing policies can have potential health consequences by altering health-related environmental exposures.