Don’t forget to submit your healthy communities idea

If you attended the 4th annual Arizona Healthy Communities Conference March 29th, you know it was an exciting day. We spent the day discussing how we can build communities of health and opportunity together. And if you stayed until the end of the day, you know that Vitalyst Health Foundation generously offered to help provide support for ideas coming out of this year’s Healthy Communities Conference. Vitalyst wants to support your work and can provide technical assistance and financial support. The foundation is offering mini-grants to help kickstart your …

Healthy Communities Highlight: Madison Heights

The old Madison Heights Apartments, near Van Buren Street and Dysart Road, consisted of 77 barrack-style units with evaporative/swamp coolers, no amenities, no community space, and challenges with infrastructure and flooding. The old units were demolished in 2015. In their place are 143 energy-efficient units with washers/dryers, dishwashers, and microwaves included. In addition, residents have access to community centers and play areas, as well as work force and job development programs and after-school tutoring. Madison Heights is something new: the first affordable housing project in …

Health Mapping Every ZIP Code in Arizona

Like many places across the country, Arizonans had a real “aha” moment when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the VCU Center on Society and Health released their life expectancy map for the Phoenix metro area last year. Their study showed a 14-year difference in life expectancy for zip codes that are only a fifteen-minute drive apart. These maps have been excellent at capturing people’s interest and helping them to understand that place matters to health . At the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, we’ve …

Housing to improve the health of “grandfamilies”

The Build Healthy Places Network highlights two cutting edge Arizona projects providing housing for grandparents raising grandchildren in their online essay A New Generation of Affordable Housing. Read about the challenges and the perseverance of two nonprofits, Tanner Properties and The Primavera Foundation, as they strive to meet the housing needs of this unique group. This story is part of a collection of long-form essays by the Build Healthy Places Network designed to illustrate the deep connections between neighborhood and health.

What really makes us healthy?

A new video from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco explains the link between health and community development in less than four minutes. The top contributors to long-term health and life expectancy may be surprising to most. As it turns out, only a fraction of what affects our health is actually related to healthcare. To truly improve outcomes, we need to look beyond healthcare at a variety of factors that impact health, and the community development sector is poised to address this challenge.

Case studies show ways affordable housing can improve health

Three new case studies from the National Housing Conference addresses how better housing can lead to improved health outcomes.  The case studies, Collaborating with Housing Quality Stakeholders to Reduce Home Health Risks, Addressing Housing as a Health Care Treatment and Using Health Care Savings to Construct Supportive Housing in New York, affirm previous research showing that access to stable and affordable housing is an important social determinant of mental, physical and emotional health. When housing is unaffordable or located in high-stress environments, residents tend to experience …