ISSUE 114 | July 7, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
The Institute examines PA’s public health infrastructure 
This 2021 study includes historical context, policy issues, and implications for resilience to future public health emergencies.

It also reviews the role of public health agencies and analyzes different public health agency governance structures, highlighting variations in workforce capacity and funding.

The report concludes with a set of policy recommendations for improving the public health system. 

Equity in housing – Not just a racial issue
In this report, equity in housing is defined as a measure of achievement, fairness, and opportunity rather than the monetary value of a property or of an interest in a property aside from claims or liens against it.

Researchers sifted through housing complaints to determine which populations most often report inequity via discrimination.

Nearly all data studied pertains to the region before the onset of the pandemic.  

Study explores the potential for post-COVID development
Not surprisingly, commercial real estate has been uniquely impacted by the closure of business centers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Institute’s team has identified factors that influenced workplace changes.

More specifically, this report weighs the upticks in hybrid and remote work, and describes what these changes mean for office space, retail, and the future of downtown areas. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Charitable organizations evaluate community-level food insecurity  
A recent study of food insecurity in 39 states, with hundreds of participating organizations, identified systemic deficiencies exacerbated by the pandemic.

Frontline workers largely advocated for enhanced focus on the root causes of need in addition to the short-term work of distributing meals.

Researchers suggest thinking beyond food and leveraging an economic justice framework. 

As the housing market explodes, inequalities are exposed and the risk of homelessness rises
Real estate prices and rental rates are increasing throughout the country.

The perfect storm is brewing as market forces strain housing and eviction moratoriums expire.

Economists are monitoring supply constraints as they attempt to determine long-term implications. 

Recent research maps route to improved health care coverage
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, closing the Medicaid gap would make health care coverage available to over 2.2 million more Americans.

It would also reduce disparities in terms of race, ethnicity, disability, and work status.

The gap pertains to adults with low income who do not qualify for ACA health insurance, but earn too much to qualify under their state Medicaid rules. 

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