Human Impact Partners’ work has led to significant impact. Here are just a few highlights of what HIP’s powerful partnerships with community organizers, public agencies, and research and advocacy organizations have delivered:
Local-level wins to improve neighborhood, housing, and employment conditions for low-income communities and communities of color.
Partners on the Farmers Field Rapid HIA in Los Angeles won $15 million for a housing trust fund to build extremely low-income housing. The developer also 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 be prioritized for “disadvantaged” workers. As a result of our Jack London Gateway HIA in Oakland, 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 health considerations into decision-making processes.
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. Our Humboldt County HIA illustrated that “focused growth” would result in fewer miles driven, fewer traffic injuries, and increased walking and biking. County decision-makers used the information to push for health-supporting policies such as limiting sprawl and increasing affordable housing. Our collaborations on Sustainable Communities Strategies statewide resulted in Metropolitan Planning Organizations including health and equity metrics in their plans to reduce greenhouse gases across California.
Statewide health and equity victories.
In Wisconsin, our HIA on treatment alternatives to prison resulted in a four-fold increase in funding for drug and mental health courts. In Minnesota, our HIA on school integration policy led to the passage of legislation that preserved funding for integration and improved the metrics that are used to measure success.
Changes in how policies are framed and debated, and covered in the media with increased discussion of health.
After the release of our paid sick days HIA, findings were considered in legislative hearings at the federal level and in several states, and recent legislative wins relied heavily on a public health frame in communications. Our Treatment Instead of Prison HIA in Wisconsin shifted the discussion around incarceration from “punishment of criminal offenders” to treat the root causes—including health and mental health issues—leading to crime. As a result of our work across multiple policies, there has been increased discussion of health impacts in television, radio, print, and on-line media, and our community and advocacy partners have become the “go-to” people to talk about health in relation to these policies. Read all press accounts here.
Explicit consideration of race and health inequities.
In Minnesota, our school integration HIA led to candid discussions of race and equity among our partners, in the media, and with legislators. The training and technical assistance we provided to Bernalillo County Place Matters resulted in an HIA analyzing the effects of locating a waste facility in a primarily Hispanic neighborhood of Albuquerque. The HIA helped prevent a permit for the facility from being issued.
Increased participation in decision-making processes by community residents and empowerment of community organizations.
In both the Pittsburg Railroad Avenue HIA and the Farmers Field HIA, HIP and partners engaged and empowered residents participating in the HIA process by having them develop the HIA scope, conduct surveys, and in LA, come to consensus on health impacts and recommendations. In both projects, residents testified before the City Council using findings from the HIA. In LA, participants talked with the news media about the findings and recommendations, and a coalition of groups that included HIA partner organizations negotiated the settlement with the developer that included HIA recommendations.
Shaping the field of HIA.
At the time of its founding, HIP set out to create model HIA tools and to train community organizations and public agencies to use these tools to advance health, democracy, and equity. Today, practitioners across the country are using HIP’s tools and many of the best practices derived from them. In 2012, HIP saw the need to insert equity even more explicitly in every aspect of our work and in the local, state, and national dialogues on HIA. Today, equity is a core component of the HIA national discourse. HIP helped start important HIA events and networks as a part of its field-building work—including the HIA of the Americas workshop and SOPHIA (the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment).
Please visit our Case Stories page for more information on each of the HIAs referenced above.