The Kresge Foundation awarded Georgia more than $390,000 to create opportunities for improving health and wellness with residents in public housing. The project is a collaboration between local public housing authorities (PHAs) in several cities across the state, with support by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Southface, and the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC).
Healthy families are supported by healthy communities that bring together social, economic, and environmental goals to improve quality of life for all residents. This initiative focuses on ensuring that public housing communities are healthy places through capacity building, knowledge exchange, and outcome tracking across diverse settings around the state.
GHPC and Southface will work with each PHA partner site to incorporate health and sustainability into existing renovation strategies supported through DCA. Existing evidence and stakeholder input will inform Healthy Green Building Plans tailored to each site. As part of a long-term evaluation of the project’s impacts, GHPC will measure baseline conditions with respect to health determinants and outcomes by interviewing current residents prior to renovations, and again after their return.
Additionally, GHPC and Southface will establish a Health and Housing Learning Academy aiming to build local capacity to leverage fully the health promoting environments, programs, and services resulting from the broader project. Participants will include PHAs, local Public Health Departments, resident leaders, and others stakeholders. Ultimately, the Academy intends to increase the knowledge of how to align health and housing activities to support sustained positive impacts on wellness within the newly renovated units, as well as for a range of other community stakeholders.
Finally, GHPC and its partners will disseminate the learnings to add to the burgeoning evidence of how to intentionally create health-promoting housing and environments. By recording and accounting for local contexts across the different PHA sites, GHPC hopes to illuminate what works for whom, and under what circumstances, to help ensure replicability in a variety of contexts and communities.