Making Baton Rouge better: A detailed narrative of synergy, partnership, and evolution of a community-based research project

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Housing Policy Debate

Publication Date


Date Added



Research on housing goes beyond simply examining the physical structures. It represents access to public and private markets, markets that sort themselves based on race, income, health status, and other social determinants. The final goal of our project is to examine how housing affordability, neighborhood conditions, and housing conditions affect the health of residents in the city of Baton Rouge. The Interdisciplinary Research Leadership model is unique in that it encourages a framework where the rigors of methodology and research intersect with the power of community voices. Our research project provides these emotions fertile soil through the articulation of narratives and stories via our community conversation platform. Among the many takeaways from this study, there is one that needs immediate attention. Whereas some from the policy community recognized the need of the community to gain access to resources, mostly they viewed the link between health and housing through a structural and regulatory lens. However, community residents viewed housing more as a context than as a structure. This finding clearly shows us why it is important to bring community narratives and voices to the research and policy table in defining a problem and designing workable policy solutions.


Economic Advancement, Housing


Political Science


Taylor & Francis