At HIP, we are dedicated to helping organizations and public agencies who work with low-income communities and communities of color to understand the effects of projects and policies on community health. And we help them use this information to take action.
Here’s what our work has led to:
- Changes in proposed developments that improve neighborhood housing and employment conditions
- Partners on the Farmers Field rapid HIA in Los Angeles won $15 million for a housing trust fund.The fund focuses on extremely low-income housing development in close proximity to the stadium and near transit. In addition, the developer agreed to use the City’s living wage as the minimum for all on-site jobs and that 40% of all local hires in permanent jobs will be prioritized for “disadvantaged” workers. Read a recent blog post about this.
- As a result of our Jack London Gateway HIA in Oakland, California, the developer installed a central ventilation system with air filters inside housing units, and modified residential building design to orient entryways through a noise-buffered courtyard rather than near a freeway.
- The inclusion of comprehensive health analyses in decision-making processes that would have otherwise not included such analyses
- Legislative policy analysis and land use plan updates General Plan Updates are not typically accompanied by health impact analyses. However, our assessment of the impacts of a bill in California that would raise the minimum wage led to the inclusion of a health analysis in the Assembly Labor Committee’s analysis of the legislation.
- Similarly, our Humboldt County HIA illustrated that focused growth – new development in areas already served by existing infrastructure such as public sewage and utilities – would result in fewer miles driven and traffic injuries and increased walking and biking. County decision-makers have used the information to push for health-related policies such as limiting sprawl and increasing affordable housing. Read a case study here.
- Changes in how policies are framed and debated to improve individual and public health
- After the release of our paid sick days HIA, data and findings were considered in legislative hearings at the federal level and in several states. As a result of the HIA, discussions about paid sick days legislation have shifted to a public health frame and have taken into account the larger health effects these decisions will have in communities. Recent legislative wins in several jurisdictions relied heavily on the health frame in their communications.
- An increase in coverage of health impacts of decisions in the news
- As a result of our HIA on paid sick days legislation, there were over 30 television, radio, and print news stories in four states, and after the release of our Treatment Alternatives to Prison HIA, there were over 15 stories across the state of Wisconsin. For both of these projects, the HIAs helped develop a dialogue around the topic as important health issues. Read all press accounts here.
- New collaborations between community organizations, public agencies, and other stakeholders to make sure health is considered in land use decisions
- As a result of a HIA collaboration between Human Impact Partners, ACORN, Urban Housing Communities (a housing developer), and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that targeted redevelopment issues in South Central Los Angeles, the developer agreed to reduce the cost of housing in the future phases of the development.
- Increased participation in decision-making processes by community residents and empowerment of community organizations
- Through the Pittsburg Railroad Avenue HIA, Human Impact Partners and partners engaged communities by holding a focus group with community leaders to develop the HIA scope and working with residents to conduct a walkability survey of the area. Community members engaged in these ways used HIA findings in their testimony to city council about the project.
- As one part of a broader campaign, the Farmers Field rapid HIA engaged and empowered residents in downtown LA in the decision-making process for a proposed new football stadium. Community residents participated in developing the HIA scope, conducted a survey, and reached consensus on potential health impacts of the proposed project as well as the HIA recommendations. Some residents testified before L.A. City Council and talked with the news media, citing findings and recommendations from the HIA. In addition, a coalition of groups that included HIA partner organizations, negotiated a settlement with the developer that included rapid HIA recommendations.
- Our partners having new capacity to conduct HIA successfully.
- After an HIA training HIP led and with technical assistance from HIP, the Bernalillo County Office of Environmental Health worked with community members to conduct an HIA on a proposed waste facility in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood. After considering data from the HIA, the planning commission denied the permit for the facility. The county and community have now begun additional HIAs.
Please visit our Case Stories page for more information on each of the HIAs referenced above.