WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Home and personal well-being go hand in hand, according to a new policy brief that highlights a direct relationship between the design of affordable housing that promotes resident health and potential cost savings for developers, tenants, and public and private health providers. Leaders in the health and development community highlighted this positive ROI in a letter this week to new Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D.
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and Center for Active Design (CfAD) have prioritized key design elements that can have a big impact on resident's health with minimal costs to the developer. These include features such as facilities for physical activity, well-designed stairs that encourage everyday use, infrastructure to support walking and biking and free, and low-cost programming to support resident health. A pilot study conducted by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the South Bronx found that on average, 58 percent of residents reported an increase in the number of flights they ascended per week in an Active Design building compared to 20 percent of residents in a control non-Active Design building.
"This is a win for everyone involved. Tenants and their children are demonstrating a boost in physical and mental well-being which leads to higher productivity and reliability. Developers are seeing potential cost savings. All of this will have a bearing on the bottom line of public housing and health care costs and should be a consideration in any future regulatory policies and funding mechanisms," said Lawrence A. Soler, PHA President and CEO.
Active Design Verified (ADV) recognizes leaders in the development community who prioritize health in the design and development of affordable housing.
"The design of communities and homes is a crucial component to promoting health equity, and addressing the social determinants of health that have implication for the well-being of the children and families. ADV and the associated policy brief provide the tools that developers can leverage to build homes that foster greater health for all families," said Joanna Frank, Executive Director, Center for Active Design.
Recently, the first ADV-certified building was completed in Prospect Plaza by Blue Sea Development in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which had the highest death rates of preventable diseases, as compared to the rest of New York City.
Residents of Prospect Plaza will access 24,000 square feet of supermarket/retail space and an 8,400 square foot community facility by project completion. Residents like Kiana are already expressing excitement. She said that before moving into her apartment in Prospect Plaza, she had to take her daughter, Jada, on a bus and a train just to play in a park. Kiana and others living in the community share their experiences here: https://vimeo.com/195871053.
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SOURCE Partnership for a Healthier America