The quality of one’s health is determined by multiple factors: the natural environment, economic opportunities, genetic factors and, to a small degree, medical care. Yet, for many people, it is the conditions in which they live that impact their health the most. Many neighborhoods experience limited access to affordable fresh food, safe places for recreation, high-quality education and living-wage jobs. People who live in these neighborhoods may be exposed to environmental hazards due to the proximity of polluting industries and substandard housing. Improving these conditions promotes health equity among people in low-income neighborhoods and fosters improved health for entire communities.
Community residents often have a sophisticated understanding of the challenges they face and the solutions that will alleviate these challenges. Equitable and sustainable solutions are best created when leaders of community-based organizations truly engage residents in creating strategies to address neighborhood priorities. Together, they can achieve results that are superior and more durable than solutions imposed from the outside.
Community-driven solutions are locally determined and contextually appropriate approaches to influence changes in policies, systems, services and practices that create equitable conditions that affect the health and well-being of communities. Local and place-based approaches hold the potential create meaningful and lasting impact and serve as new models for community change.
Through this focus area, we work to:
Improve housing affordability and quality through local policy changes
Support communities to achieve their aspirations to drive more equitable policies, systems and practices.
Increase the adoption of food-oriented development.
Increase the adoption of inclusive or community-driven models of community development that address community conditions such as housing, food systems and safety.
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