The JPB Foundation finances a study on affordable housing

The JPB Foundation awarded a major grant to Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to fund a three-year study examining the impact of social, environmental, and health-related services in affordable housing on health and quality of life residents.

The Columbia Mailman School partners with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health, Enterprise Community Partners, Success Measures at NeighborWorks America, the Community Opportunity Fund, and Jonathan Rose Companies to undertake research to 10 affordable housing units from Jonathan Rose Companies. As institutional investors increasingly enter the affordable housing space as part of their growing commitment to ESG, the study aims to formally assess the co-benefits of green housing and a combination of building components. social and health-related intervention for residents of affordable housing at different sites.

Social, environmental, and health-related services in affordable housing are essential components of effective affordable housing practice, but robust research demonstrating the measurable impact of these interventions on residents’ well-being is lacking. To begin addressing this need, the partners created a multidisciplinary team of housing public health researchers and evaluators in 2017 to explore Jonathan Rose Companies’ Communities of Opportunity model, which seeks to leverage housing as a pathway to the complete health and well-being of residents. -being. The primary goal of the team’s initial study design research, completed in 2019, was to develop the study methods and protocols needed to assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of health and other affordable housing interventions – an essential planning step for a larger-scale study. Building on the results of the study design work, the team will initiate the first phase of a longitudinal study, titled Ecological Study of Comparative Health Effects of Housing-Based Interventions, to implement and evaluate formalize the benefits of the communities of opportunity model for affordable housing residents at different sites.

“We are deeply grateful to the JPB Foundation for their generous support of critical research that identifies key elements of high-quality affordable housing that promote resident and community health and well-being,” said Virginia Rauh, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. . “Our goal is to create ‘communities of opportunity’ where residents have access to the resources they need to thrive, and through this research, provide evidence of best practices to guide affordable housing providers and public health policies in the future.

The study will focus on the Jonathan Rose Companies Communities of Opportunity model, which combines social and environmental impact by investing in energy efficiency measures, decarbonization strategies, water conservation and resilience, and offers a range of housing-based interventions and amenities that make life better for residents. These include community facilities, outdoor spaces, fitness centers, computer labs, medical screening rooms that provide access to on-site medical care, communal kitchens, libraries, and resident services coordinators. on-site that connect residents to programs and services that meet needs and enable access to opportunity. The model encompasses a process of mutually engaged co-production whereby residents, planners and scientists have a voice and play a critical role in the design, implementation and sustainability of housing-focused interventions.

“We welcome the opportunity to measure the impact of environmental factors on the health of residents of affordable housing, and are grateful to the JPB Foundation for enabling this important work,” said Gary Adamkiewicz, Harvard University. TH Chan School of Public Health. “Housing-based environmental interventions are an essential part of an impactful public health strategy, and this study will help generate data measuring the effects of environmental sustainability strategies on the health and well-being of these communities.”

“It is essential that we understand the impact of health and environmental interventions on the well-being of residents of affordable housing sites to ensure that industry leaders have the knowledge to implement services that really work” , said Nancy Birkmeyer, of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. “As this area has been historically understudied, the support of the JPB Foundation represents a key step that will allow us to better understand the strategies that affordable housing practitioners, service providers and investors should pursue to maximize benefits. “

Researchers will collect and analyze key data on health, well-being, environment and community engagement, which will serve as the basis for future research to assess the impact of stable, affordable and ecological housing and a wide range of resident services. The study will be conducted in collaboration with JRCo residents and will be developed with significant input from community staff with direct and ongoing ties to residents. Researchers will conduct resident surveys and conduct environmental monitoring on properties to assess the positive health effects of reducing environmental risks. After the data collection phase, researchers will analyze survey and environmental data and prepare an accessible summary of the results to share with properties, residents, stakeholders and other interested audiences. The team will work with staff and residents to help them use the data and leverage the results to improve programming and opportunities for residents.

“The study team is uniquely positioned to develop and translate research-based insights into actionable strategies for the housing and community development fields. We appreciate the continued support of the JPB Foundation to support such vital research,” said Stephany De Scisciolo, Vice President, Impact, Evaluation and Population Health at Enterprise Community Partners.

We welcome the opportunity to leverage our expertise to help the housing sector assess its impact on health and wellbeing through participatory approaches that engage residents in the study process,” said Maggie Grieve, Vice President of Success Metrics at NeighborWorks America. “We look forward to continuing our work with our research partners and appreciate the support of the JPB Foundation.”

“The mission of the Community Opportunity Fund is to improve the lives of residents of affordable housing by co-producing health, social services, education, culture, employment and recreation programs, and by researching the impact of these programs to influence future policy,” said Dawn Mottram of the Community Opportunity Fund. “By measuring the results of these initiatives, we aim to equip public decision-makers with the data-based insights they need to create communities of opportunity for all. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the JPB Foundation for their generous support, and we are excited to continue our important work alongside our partners to develop the research that supports this mission.

“We are extremely grateful to the JPB Foundation for enabling this study, which will serve many stakeholders, including providers in the affordable housing sector, community management and staff, investors seeking to optimize their ESG outcomes and, of course, residents of affordable housing communities who will benefit from improved social, environmental and health-related services,” said Jonathan Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Companies. “We hope this will broaden our understanding that housing not only improves housing security, but overall improves environmental sustainability and the health and well-being of residents. We are excited to collaborate with leading researchers to assess the impact of our efforts in the hope that our experience will guide the practice of industry stakeholders in the future.


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