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. Click here to view and download a PDF of our health supplements.

When Supportive Housing Isn’t

The rationale behind supportive housing for people with mental disabilities is that pairing individualized services with permanent housing will help them live independently. But one San Francisco advocate sees more neglect than support.

Breathing Easier

A Massachusetts-based program provides home environment assessments, education, and home remediation services—often resulting in the improved health and lives of families.
migrant farm workers

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 27

Climate Gentrification | A Marijuana Tax for Housing? | Homeownership Alone Can't Close the Wealth Gap | Illegal ICE Raids on Farms | Keeping An Eye on Opportunity Zones | More...
Alicia Spradlin and her daughter Faith live in apartments that have been set-aside for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members.

Setting Aside Housing for Frequent Health Care Users

Housing specifically for those who frequently use health care services makes sense on many levels, but it also raises questions about privacy and lining up who pays and who benefits.
Barcelona apartment buildings

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, April 20

NIMBYs, YIMBYs, PHIMBYs-Oh My! | Can Algorithms Make Equitable Cities? | Retail Segregation Takes a Toll | E.R. Visits and "Tough" Neighborhoods | Enough Innovation Already | More...

Taking Health Into Account

By systematically assessing the health risks of development decisions upfront, health impact assessments can prevent costly and harmful mistakes.
Children play on an Irish Traveller site on Dale Farm in 2011. A young boy with glasses rubs his eyes outside in Dale Farm, which was once the site of the largest Irish Traveller concentration until families were evicted in 2011. A health impact assessment helped house this indigenous group.

How a Health Impact Assessment Helped House Irish Travellers

An HIA that focused on Irish Traveller housing programs proves successful because it empowered the population.

The Next Step in Supportive Housing

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, individual-focused healthy lifestyles—regardless of socioeconomic status—became an increased topic of discussion. Along with clear correlations between...
california construction site

California’s Endless Housing “Crisis”

In many ways, the recognition of the current “crisis” stems from middle- and upper-income Californians finally being impacted, and using their power to push for solutions that would address their situation. But their solutions ignore another population.

The Affordable Care Act: Implications for Community Development

Even if you have not tuned out of the long-running debate about the future of health care in the United States, you can be...
Two people partake in the Healing Hands project.

Using Art to Create Community at a Clinic

Arts projects at a Minneapolis clinic created a natural connection between people who might not otherwise interact.
A deteriorated Brownsville home.

There is an Emergency at the Border. It’s Poverty.

Targeted investments that address persistent poverty are necessary and should supersede financial support of a border wall.
Tents line a Skid Row street in Los Angeles in 2015.

To Save On Medi-Cal Costs, a Bid to Help Homeless Patients With Rent Money

California lawmakers consider devoting an additional $90 million to subsidize rent for homeless patients.

Why Food-Oriented Development Is Easier to Implement

You’ve heard of transit-oriented development. But food-oriented development might be easier to generate. 
A Childlike drawing of a yellow house with a multicolored roof, cactuses in front, and a tree with Christmas lights in front.

Housing Quality Is Key to Mental Health

Living in substandard housing affects your mental health as well, several studies have found.
An exterior view of a rowhouse in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania that appears to have some water damage.

Rowhouse Repairs for Health in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, health care professionals and housing advocates are working together to deliver home repairs to low-income homeowners.
The polygon outline is the residential census tract for the participants’ housing project community, represented by the single black marker. Green markers represent places participants identified as positive, healthy, and good, while red markers represent places identified as negative, unhealthy, and bad.

The Real Limits of Census Tracts, and Other Boundaries

We can’t truly understand how a person’s health is affected by where they live if we look only at data within arbitrary boundaries like census tracts and ignore the places people actually go and don’t go every day.

In Schools, Eliminating Poverty Stigma Could End Child Hunger

More Americans live in high-poverty neighborhoods than ever before, according to a recent Century Foundation report, and many of...

Healthy Foods, Strong Communities

Fresh fruits and veggies are good for more than just your health.
bridge watercolor

Mental Health and Community Development

The community development and mental health fields have a critical opportunity to work together in supporting the mental health of low-income communities.