August 19, 2020

Chicagoland Health Action Planning Cohort Launches

Together with the Illinois Public Health Institute, Enterprise launched the Chicagoland Health Action Planning Cohort in March. This cohort of five local community development corporations are committing to embed health equity in the design and operations of their affordable housing developments through the Health Action Plan process, developed by Enterprise as part of their Green Communities Criteria. The cohort represent a wide range of projects that serve diverse low-income households in Chicago’s south and west sides as well as the south suburbs.

Cohort Participant | Geography | Project Description

LUCHA/ Evergreen/ Children’s Place | Logan Square/ Hermosa

The Encuentro Square project aims to provide homes to families with trauma-informed design and programming as well as flexible commercial space that can provide programs and services that meet the needs of the local community.

Full Circle Communities | Lansing, Illinois

The Torrence Place project seeks to house disabled veterans in accessible living with supportive services provided by the health care partner Christian Community Health Center. The development will have an onsite health clinic and will provide services that meet the needs of residents.

Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation | Auburn Gresham

The Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation is retrofitting a single-family home to make it accessible to large families with disabled members. 

Heartland Housing | West Side

Heartland is exploring a respite housing model to provide transitional supportive housing to individuals exiting hospital systems with the goal of transitioning them into permanent supportive housing. 

Claretian Associates | South Chicago

The SACRED development seeks to provide 78 units of low-income housing for families, with healthy food access through a first-floor grocery and workforce development.

The Health Action Plan

The Health Action Plan is an intentional engagement and analysis process, modified from health impact assessments, to the tailored needs of affordable housing developers that involves collection and analysis of health data, community engagement and the identification of programming and design strategies to address the identified health needs of the target population.

Through the initial Chicagoland HAP cohort data analysis and technical assistance phases, the developer teams have identified a wide range of social and physical determinants of health that may be shaping the outcomes of their targeted residents, from trauma-induced stress and employment barriers to lack of access to health promoting resources like grocery stores. 

In the next phase of community engagement, developer partners will make use of Enterprise’s new guide on Community Engagement for the Health Action Plan During a Time of Social Distancing to prioritize health issues facing the community and jointly develop strategies for improving health outcomes through housing.

In addition to providing technical assistance, cohort participants are engaging in workshops on related topics like supporting the mental health of residents, serving justice-involved residents and innovative financing options, while building more and deeper relationships with health care partners. 

Look out for their final Health Action Plans in early 2021!

For more information contact Andrew Geer,

Health Action Plan infographic

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