A story of how renovations to a preschool improved child and staff health and helped stabilize the center’s finances.
Recognized as a national model for community redevelopment, East Lake today is a vibrant community.
This short video of an HIA conducted in Curry County, Oregon shows how it helped to promote healthier housing.
Taking a new approach to combat childhood obesity, architects redesigned a decades old school to encourage more physical activity and healthier eating for elementary students in rural Virginia.
This video talks with architects about how they transformed all the elements of a school building–from color palette to furniture to the cafeteria–to promote healthy behavior.
As one of the designers said, “a child is a kinetic, excited entity. So we designed choices to let the child move.”
A story of how renovations to a preschool in Oakland, California, not only made the space a better place for the children to play and the staff to work but also, unexpectedly, improved their health and helped stabilize the center’s finances.
At the Booth Memorial Child Development Center in Oakland, children repeatedly ended up in the Emergency Room for asthma attacks. With funding from the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), the Center replaced the dusty, dirty carpets and the old sinks, and made more play space.
As a result, attendance was up among students, who no longer had frequent asthma attacks, and staff disability claims dropped dramatically. The data now serve as evidence to support LIIF’s investments in healthy child care in other cities.
The story of how the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development financial institution (CDFI), takes a holistic approach to improving neighborhoods and lives.
Launched in 2007, the Building Sustainable Communities strategy simultaneously addressed work and income, health care, housing, education, safety, and nutritious food. With this approach, LISC wanted to go beyond describing individual projects and programs and find out whether, taken together, its place-based investments actually help people lead better lives. Its initial research report provides the evidence.
Find out what happened as a result of LISC’s coordinated investments—in housing, education, safety, employment, and health all at once—in four struggling communities across the country:
• The Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island
• North Philadelphia
• Chicago’s Quad Communities
• The Fountain Square neighborhood of Southeast Indianapolis
The Quality of Life plan for the Eastern North neighborhood in Philadelphia explains how community-based planning engages a wide range of local organizations and residents; comes to agreement about assets, deficits, and priorities; and identifies specific measurable goals to improve a neighborhood.
A Quality of Life Plan brings a community together to map out its needs, potential solutions, and possible partners. The plan considers the whole community, including schools, parks, health care and child care, community safety, organizing, social services and opportunities for economic advancement.
The plan for the Eastern North neighborhood of Philadelphia was led by LISC Philadelphia community partner Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha and includes specific strategies, actions, partners, performance measures, and a timeline for each of seven neighborhood improvement factors:
• Physical environment
• Income and wealth
• Economic development
• Children, youth, and education
• Healthy environment and lifestyle
• Arts and culture
Read the full report, or zoom in on just one of the seven improvement categories listed above. For example, the healthy environment and lifestyle section breaks down key issues, opportunities, strategies, and action steps.
A chart summarizes the key components and priorities on a single page.
This Report Card describes their progress.
Mission Creek is a mixed-use housing development that combines onsite health services and supportive care designed specifically for the needs of homeless elders.
The project has saved $1.46 million in avoided hospitalizations across the 51 seniors in the community at the time of the evaluation. Independent housing also saved the state $9.2 million over seven years in Medicaid and Medicare by reducing skilled nursing care. The benefits of enabling people to lead better lives are incalculable.
Mission Creek was a collaboration between Mercy Housing and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco Public Library.
The Fund brings new forms of financing to community development. The projects in the Fund are near transit, have good density, and are built in ways that promote health, from parks and green space to access to fresh and healthy food.
To be part of the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, projects must meet certain criteria, one of which is to score above 50 on the “healthscore rating system.” The system determines how much impact the project will have on people’s lives, particularly their health.
Chelsea Flats in Boston was one project recently funded through HNEF. Project leaders used a health impact assessment and the healthscore rating system to gauge both the community’s needs and to help determine the features of the development. Among a range of healthy living indicators, access to fresh food, indoor air quality, and the need for economic opportunities stood out.
Specifically for this project, the Denver Housing Authority also partnered with architectural firm Mithun, Inc., to develop the Mariposa Healthy Living Tool to guide the holistic, sustainable, and healthy redevelopment of the neighborhood.
An extensive sample Report Card included in the toolkit (pp 30-33) breaks down the components of the work into six broad determinants and provides specific indicators and their rationale for each. And for project planning, the Report Card also includes plans for data sources for each indicator, geographic scope, monitoring period, and associated caveats and limitations.
The Eastern North neighborhood has high rates of asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, and half of Philadelphia’s housing stock is at least 60 years old.
The development supports children’s health through its environmentally sustainable LEED certified design, onsite health center and pharmacy, resident services, and social service programs.
The short report outlines the history of the project, its hurdles and successes.
Fifteen miles from downtown Atlanta, East Lake Meadows was a public housing site riddled with violence and lost opportunity in the 1980s and 1990s. Fearing another generation’s opportunities lost to poverty, its residents, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and Tom Cousins, a wealthy real estate developer, came together in the mid-1990s to try something new. The rest is history.
Recognized by the Urban Land Institute as a national model for community redevelopment, East Lake today is a vibrant community of mixed income housing, award-winning schools, a YMCA, swimming pools, and golf courses. The development puts health and well-being at its center. “We started with housing,” said Carol Naughton, president of Purpose Built Communities, the “community quarterback” seeing the project through. “But within a month or two, we recognized that housing alone was a necessary but insufficient condition to break the cycle of poverty. We wanted to create a great neighborhood where everyone could reach their full potential.” And they are, as these changes reveal.
This short video of an HIA conducted in Curry County, Oregon shows how it helped to promote healthier housing and alleviate the respiratory illnesses, injuries, and other health problems associated with living in poor quality housing.
In Curry County, Oregon, one in three families lives in manufactured homes. But many of those homes were built in the 1970s and are becoming dilapidated and dangerous to health. And many of the families lack the resources to rehab or repair their homes.
A public health and community development project used a health impact assessment (HIA) to raise awareness of the health-housing connection and to spark change. The results led to a new lending program for homeowners and to design changes in the homes.
For the Manufactured Housing Association of Oregon, said Annette Klinefleter, the project’s HIA author, “the HIA was an extraordinarily powerful tool because it truly influenced their design standards.” They hadn’t thought about design through the lens of health before.
“When a project has a clear base in public health evidence,” said Andrea Hamberg of the Oregon Health Authority, “it changes how people think about the work they do, it changes what is possible in terms of fundraising, and it changes how policymakers make decisions.”