Get access



  • Karen Welch mph

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Karen Welch received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health, where she majored in International Health and Maternal and Child Health. While at Boston University, Ms. Welch completed the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Program and was a fellow in the AmeriCorps Health and Housing Program in which she was assigned to live and work with low-income families in the greater Boston area. Her role vis-à-vis public housing residents included that of health educator, case manager, community organizer, teacher or tutor, housing authority liaison, friend, and neighbor. Ms. Welch has also worked as a teacher and development worker with the Peace Corps.

Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118.


The inequities in health care and housing access experienced by low-income women in the United States are a continuing concern. This article addresses the interrelationships between housing and health as experienced by low-income clients so that health care practitioners can begin to build active and effective health-promoting partnerships with clients, their families, and their communities. A case study is presented that describes the actual experience of a woman living in a low-income housing development and its effect on her health and access to health care. The importance of the role of midwives in addressing the health care and advocacy needs of women in substandard housing is highlighted.