Health

The fourth installment of Shelterforce's Health and Community Development supplement.The health of individuals and the health of communities are linked in so many ways, from zoning to access to fresh food, safe housing, safe streets and parks, and proper medical care. How is this growing realization affecting practice for both community development organizations and health care organizations? What does it take for these two separate worlds to partner toward shared goals? Thanks to the Kresge and Robert Wood Johnson foundations, and Kaiser Permanente for supporting our health and communities coverage, and to our Health and Community Development Editorial Advisory Board for their guidance, knowledge, and insights.

Sealing the Cracks in Weatherization and Home Repair

Deferred home maintenance can lead to serious structural, safety, and health issues. A new program in Pennsylvania aims to fill the gaps in home repair and weatherization programs.

Help! Not Police! Crisis Responses That Avert Police Calls

Cities, court systems, citizen groups, and affordable housing operators are crafting ways of responding to emergencies that reduce the risk of negative police interactions.

Helping Tenants with Mental Health Challenges Who Are at Risk of Eviction

Support at all stages of an eviction could help vulnerable tenants navigate the process, avoid being removed from their home, or if they are evicted, help them catch their footing.

Getting Medicaid to Pay for Pest Control

For children who have asthma, pests like cockroaches and mice can trigger allergic reactions and lead to recurring and expensive hospital visits. Could insurers save money by investing in housing-based improvements like pest management services?

Why Wealth Matters to Your Health: A Webinar

How did the racial wealth gap begin? And why has it been so hard to fix? Shelterforce's Miriam Axel-Lute and others discuss these topics in a webinar hosted by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

Are Urban Planners Staying Silent on Climate Gentrification?

Holmdel, New Jersey, moved its affordable housing to flood-prone land, raising a question about planners' ethical obligations to speak up against such moves.

How Much Time Does Trauma-Informed Community Building Take? It’s Complicated

Building trust takes time. How does that factor into project timelines, and what recommendations do housing development leaders have for others seeking to shift to more resident-centered practices.

Fannie Mae’s Financing Initiative Encourages Healthier Design, Stronger Resident Services

“I am so excited that Fannie decided to do this … For the first time, there has been recognition by a capital funder that the services that are provided matter.”
A smart phone and a ballpoint pen rest on top of a very expensive medical invoice indicating a patient's share of the bill. The bill is stamped past due.

The Long Road to Recovery From Medical Debt

Disproportionate amounts of medical debt contribute to the racial wealth gap. What can be done?

Maurice Jones on Job Creation, Community Development, and Wealth Building

Seventy-one percent of jobs that pay $40,000 and above require a four-year degree, says Maurice Jones. That requirement is "having a huge, huge adverse impact on Black talent earning their way into the middle class."

Lessons from Award-Winning Hospital-Community Partnerships

American Hospital Association's NOVA awards honor hospitals' success in addressing social determinants of health.
Two women in jackets and face masks hold up keys.

Shared Housing Tackles Loneliness in Homeless Services

Transitioning out of homelessness can be a lonely process. To address this, some homeless service providers are giving clients the option to share housing with someone they know, with each receiving their own bedroom.
Family skating at Akoma market.

‘We-Making’: How Arts and Culture Build Social Cohesion

In Oakland, the Black Cultural Zone ties together art and community ownership to prevent gentrification and heal trauma.

What’s the Best Way to Judge How Well a City’s Housing Policies Improve Health?

CityHealth revamps its housing medal criteria, shifts away from inclusionary zoning to flexible funding and tenant protections. “We realized there is no singular policy intervention that can address the whole of affordable housing.”

Better, Faster, Cheaper Ways to Finance Supportive Housing

A few cities in the U.S. are addressing homelessness by experimenting with different financing vehicles that are helping to preserve and construct more supportive housing.

Vy Le—A Resident Services Manager in Washington State

Vy Le’s perseverance as an immigrant, unbeknownst to her, was preparation for a later fight to remove barriers for others facing similar challenges.
Two older woman talk at a table, as part of a busy outreach event.

From an Abandoned Mall to Bustling Community Hub

A medical complex in Mississippi draws on local artists to go beyond doctors' offices and become a gathering place for those living nearby.

How Affordable Housers Perpetuate Past Harms, and How They Can Do Better

Some elements of affordable housing—from the development process to the way buildings are managed—are rooted in racist assumptions that dehumanize residents. Here are some simple ways you can be a better housing provider.
Young female volunteer in mask gives an elderly man boxes with food near his house. Quarantined, isolated.

Blame Policies, Not Places, for Poor Health

Shifting blame from people to ZIP codes is not enough to create healthy communities. Here’s how to do better.
Residents at Lincoln Place gather and socialize outdoors.

The Journey Into Supportive Housing

Venturing into supportive housing can be a daunting task for housing providers. The Vancouver Housing Authority shares the insight they’ve gained over the years through doubling their supportive housing units.

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