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Recognizing the deep tie between community development and health, NeighborWorks America combines its investments and strategies in health, affordable housing, community building, financial capability and economic development to support health and well-being at each critical stage of life.

COVID-19 has helped drive home the importance of housing and community developers as key health partners. In response to the pandemic, NeighborWorks network organizations have pivoted their work to respond to new and ongoing community needs. They have provided rent relief and secured food, along with equipping residents with personal protective equipment and providing spaces for COVID-19 testing and vaccines. Housing and community developers have risen to the occasion of the moment, keeping communities safe, healthy and well.

 Through grants, training and technical assistance, we support the efforts of our network and the community development field to develop healthy homes and communities.

Our Framework

Community development and affordable housing practitioners have the opportunity to play three key roles to enhance health.
  • We build affordable housing, community assets, and community leadership that stabilize communities.

  • We revitalize neighborhoods, reduce social isolation and build community engagement. A stable community is a healthy community.

  • We incorporate principles of health into the design, development, and maintenance of housing and other community assets – whether by building homes to reduce asthma triggers or by designing communities that promote biking, walking and social connection. By consciously incorporating health principles and policies into community development work, we build even healthier communities. Good design heals.

  • Housing and community development can serve as a platform for services that improve health outcomes. By delivering services locally, we help individuals to maximize their health. And by working with vulnerable populations, we connect the health care system with individuals who may have slipped through the cracks.
Healthy Communities
Three cities, three NeighborWorks network organizations and many, many people working together for healthy communities.