ChangeLab Solutions’ BLOCK Project focuses on local institutions working at the intersection of health and housing: hospitals, public housing authorities, and public health agencies. We wanted to know how each type of institution leverages their substantial resources and wide reach to improve housing policies and health outcomes.
We partnered with three organizations—the Alameda County Public Health Department in California; Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Denver Public Housing Authority in Colorado—to produce the Porch Light Debates, a series of conversations illuminating issues at the intersection of health and housing practices, posted on Medium. In-depth articles by community advocates, academics, and practitioners explore related topics and highlight cutting-edge health and housing concepts and strategies.
Through our partnerships, we learned that practitioners across the country are setting powerful courses of action. Some are forming collaborations and creating programs, while others are addressing specific issues like lead poisoning and asthma. Many are working to strengthen code enforcement initiatives, build awareness of the relationship between community trauma and housing development, or connect residents of affordable housing with health services.
Our work with partners also informed The Health & Housing Starter Kit, which provides case studies and practical advice to help local institutions take their first steps toward creating health and housing initiatives.
The BLOCK Project was made possible by generous funding from The Kresge Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.