A team of researchers at Boston College, Boston University and Harvard have won the federal grant to study "how the massive makeover will affect the health and well-being of more than 1,000 children and adults" who live in the state's oldest public-housing complex.
WinnCompanies has the BHA nod to replace the current buildings with all new buildings that will include both new public-housing units and apartments aimed at people who can afford market rates, at a total cost of $2.3 billion over 15 years. It's a strategy the BHA has used in recent years to replace aging public-housing units at a time when the federal government no longer puts any money into such housing.
A team of social workers, developmental psychologists, engineers and biostatisticians, headed by faculty at BC's Lynch School of Education and Human Development and School of Social Work:
Will survey and interview residents of the Mary Ellen McCormack public housing complex at regular intervals over the next five years. The team will also measure environmental conditions in the neighborhood such as air quality; gather data from local and national sources like the U.S. Census and the Boston Police Department; and collect hair samples from residents to track levels of cortisol, a hormone that is associated with stress.
The researchers will work closely with the Mary Ellen McCormack Resident Task Force to shape the questions they ask and the methods they use to recruit residents, said Samantha Teixeira, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work who is running the study with Rebekah Levine Coley, a professor in the Lynch School.