|Current HIA Projects|
In June 2013, HIP released the report – Family Unity, Family Health: How Family-Focused Immigration Reform Will Mean Better Health for Children and Families – to shine a light on the public health consequences of current immigration policy on children and families. The HIA is an assessment of how current immigration policy, and specifically the threat of detention and deportation, affects the health and mental health of parents and children living in mixed-status families. HIP worked with a nationwide group of advocacy and community organizations and academic researchers to complete the HIA.
Using existing research, predictive quantitative analysis, and data from a convenience survey and two focus groups we conducted, the report shines a light on the public health consequences of a continued policy of detention and deportation on: physical health, mental health, educational and behavioral outcomes among children; adult health status and lifespan; and economic hardship and food access in households.
In sum, we find that hundreds of thousands of families will experience hardship in the coming years if policies continue unabated. In particular, children will sustain these impacts across multiple measures of health and well-being. For example, we found that if detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants continue at the same rate as in 2012, this year:
• More than 152,000 children who are citizens will have a parent taken away from them.
• An estimated 43,000 children will suffer a decline in physical health.
• Approximately 100,000 children will show signs of withdrawal or attachment, a behavioral problem that like aggression and anxiety leads to poor school performance.
• Median household income for undocumented immigration househols nationawide will fall below the poverty line. More than 83,000 households will be at risk of poverty.
The report makes a series of legislative and administrative policy recommendations to reduce the harms to health that result from the threat of detention and deportation.
Read the press release, the Executive Summary (English version, Spanish version), and the full report. Visit this stand-alone website for videos and graphics that supplement the research: www.familyunityfamilyhealth.org.
AEG is currently proposing the construction of Farmers Field - a 72,000-seat football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.There are many communities in the vicinity of the proposed stadium that are especially vulnerable to impacts resulting from the Farmers Field development including displacement, rising costs of housing, lack of employment opportunity, increasing policing in the community, and lack of access to local public spaces.
In April and May of 2012, HIP worked with the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles (PSR-LA) to conduct a Rapid HIA of the Farmers Field project. The HIA highlights the impact of the proposed development on the community health, offers recommendations for the mitigation of identified adverse impacts; and the HIA process provided potentially impacted residents with an opportunity to meaningfully participate in bringing health to the forefront of the decision making process for the project. To see a copy of the Final Findings and Recommendations of the Rapid Health Impact Assessment of the Proposed Farmers Field Development click here. For a brief summary of this project, please click here.
ChangeLab Solutions contracted with HIP to conduct an HIA on the Lake Merritt BART Station Area Plan in Oakland, CA, in collaboration with ChangeLab Solutions, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, TransForm, and Asian Health Services. ChangeLab Solutions was funded by the Federal Transportation Administration to develop a toolkit to help policy makers incorporate health in transportation planning, and the HIA is a central component of the toolkit. HIP and partners have submitted analysis findings and recommendations to the City of Oakland throughout the SAP's planning and public input process; one such submittal is this letter to the City. The HIA report and appendices are now available. A supplementary memo including additional research requested by the City of Oakland is also available along with a separate analysis of parking requirements in the Station Area Plan. The City of Oakland is considering the HIA recommendations, and the HIA toolkit will be released by ChangeLab Solutions soon. For a brief summary of this project, please click here.
From August 2011 to May 2012, HIP partnered with Legal Aid of Marin on an HIA about the health impacts that could result from changes to current Code Enforcement agency policies in three Marin County jurisdictions: San Rafael, Novato, and unincorporated Marin County. The aim of the project was to inform public decision-making and agency practice across the County, to improve health. The final report includes findings based on the literature linking habitability and health, communications with staff at city agencies such as the Code Enforcement and Planning departments, a focus group with tenants, key informant interviews, and information provided by Legal Aid of Marin. This work was made possible by a Marin Community Foundation grant to Legal Aid of Marin, in support of their Healthy Homes initiative, which is an effort to improve the response of Code Enforcement agencies in the three jurisdictions. Click on this link to read the final HIA report. For a brief summary of this project, please click here.
Public Health – Seattle & King County has hired HIP to conduct an HIA on a transit oriented development plan being proposed around Seattle’s Northgate Mall. Public health is collaborating with the planning and transportation agencies on this project.
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) proposes to implement the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project connecting downtown Oakland with East Oakland and San Leandro. The BRT line would include features such as dedicated bus lanes and many other changes to street and station design that improve speed and reliability of bus service in the corridor. Human Impact Partners, in collaboration with TransForm, Oakland Community Organizations, and Allen Temple Arms, completed an HIA on the International Blvd segment of the BRT alignment. A letter has been submitted to the Oakland City Council in advance of their vote on whether to adopt the East Bay BRT Project as proposed. The full HIA report is available here
Human Impact Partners is working with groups in Northern and Southern California as well as State Senator Lowenthal’s office to explore the health impacts of a bill that would assess a fee on each container moving through the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland to fund air quality and traffic congestion mitigations. The HIA is examining various types of projects that could be funded by port container fee revenues. These projects include grade-separation (creating tunnels or bridges so that cars don’t have to wait for passing trains); freeway expansion; train improvements (e.g., electrification of trains, retrofitting old diesel train engines, alternative train technologies); and heavy-duty truck retrofit/replacement.
Today, there are 2.3 million people living in federally-funded public housing projects and over one million people on public housing and rental voucher wait lists. In 2011, the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) project was proposed to preserve and improve public housing·by voluntary conversion of properties from federal government ownership to non-profit or private ownership. While RAD·proposes to address some of the systematic funding issues related to public housing, the impacts of the proposal on a number of health determinants remained unanswered in legislative debates, evictions and resident organizing, housing equality, affordability, and stability; and social capital.
Advancement Project, National People's Action, and Human Impact Partners collaborated on an HIA of RAD to evaluate the potential health impacts of implementing the legislation - the first HIA of a proposed federal housing policy. Overall, while RAD is likely to lead to some positive health impacts due to improvements in the quality of housing and decreased crime, negative health impacts associated with displacement, evictions, and disrupted social networks may outweigh any positive impacts - especially without the mitigations suggested in the HIA. Furthermore, there are a number of missed opportunities to improve health via RAD, and we make a number of recommendations for HUD to consider as RAD is implemented.
SANDAG has a process underway to plan for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service along the I-805 freeway corridor. By implementing BRT, the expectation is that residents and workers can travel between home, work, school, and commercial and public services more efficiently, and that auto travel and congestion may decrease. In this context, SANDAG commissioned and funded a health impact and benefit assessment of a proposal to add the new BRT service to the 47th Street Orange-line Trolley Station. Human Impact Partners and Safe & Healthy Communities Consulting were hired to complete the HIA.
Overall, the HIA found that adding the BRT and pedestrian access over the I-805 provided the greatest opportunity to promote health and well-being. The HIA proposed over fifty health-promoting recommendations related to the new BRT service and improving conditions around the 47th Street trolley station area. Two community meetings were held to get feedback on the HIA scope and on draft findings and recommendations. Overall, there was excellent participation from community organizations and residents. This HIA was the first conducted by SANDAG, a metropolitan planning organization. Click here to access the HIA report.
In addition to the HIA, SANDAG also provided funding for two region-wide trainings held in November and January. Over thirty participants attended each training and SANDAG is now in the process of pursuing potential HIA topics that were case studies at the training.
The HIA and trainings were funded through Communities Putting Prevention to Work, a program of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009. For a brief summary of this project, please click here.
Human Impact Partners recently completed an HIA of school discipline policies, including zero tolerance (suspending or expelling students for any infraction), restorative justice, and positive behavioral interventions and supports. In Los Angeles, Oakland, and Salinas school districts, the HIA analyzed how these policies impact those being disciplined, other students, and communities through pathways to health outcomes from educational attainment (e.g., dropout rates), incarceration, violence, drug abuse, mental health, and family/community cohesion. Click here for a summary of findings in English and here for the summary in Spanish. For a brief overview of the project, click here. Click here for the full report and here for the appendices.
Minnesota House Bill HF0247 proposes to address racial integration in Minnesota schools to support opportunities for all students to achieve improved educational outcomes. This bill would reauthorize integration revenue funding, guide how schools are using it, and build off of previous recommendations developed by the Integration Revenue Replacement Advisory Task Force. The legislation would require schools eligible for funding to develop comprehensive plans for achieving integration and closing the achievement gap.
HIP, ISAIAH, and a 12-member Stakeholder Panel conducted a Rapid HIA to provide a comprehensive analysis of the bill’s impacts on health and equity, and to highlight the importance of education for our health. The final HIA is available here.
HIP worked with impacted community residents living near USC and was supported by SAJE and Esperanza Community Housing Corporation to conduct a rapid HIA on USC’s proposed Specific Plan. Amongst its provisions, the USC Plan proposes to build 5.2 million square feet of retail space, restaurants, a hotel, and student housing through the demolition of the ‘University Village’ located on Jefferson and Hoover St and expansion of the current university boundaries. The area surrounding USC is made up of a population that is especially vulnerable to displacement and its associated negative health impacts. The new rapid HIA model that was employed is an innovate approach to engaging impacted residents from the community, based on a Consensus Conference approach. Members of the impacted community learned about the proposed USC Specific Plan and then deliberated and came to consensus on potential impacts as well as recommendations to address potential negative impacts over a 6 week period. The HIA contributed to the negotiation of an agreement between the UNIDAD coalition (which includes SAJE and Esperanza Housing) and USC. Many aspects of the agreement reflected the HIA's recommendations, as can be seen in this analysis.
WISDOM, a statewide congregation-based community organization in Wisconsin, has been advocating for state funding for treatment alternatives to prison for almost a decade. With over 20,000 people incarcerated, or about a half a percent of the state’s population, Wisconsin, like many other states, has seen a precipitous increase in the use of incarceration for those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. In 2006, WISDOM and their allies succeeded in convincing the state to fund treatment alternatives such as drug courts, mental health courts, and bail diversion projects in seven counties.
WISDOM, partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Roadmaps to Health initiative, commissioned Human Impact Partners to conduct an HIA to answer the questions: How would increasing funding for treatment alternatives to prison such as drug and alcohol courts, mental health courts, and diversion programs, impact the health of individuals targeted for incarceration, their families, their communities, and the state?
The HIA involved a wide range of partners including many WISDOM congregations across Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute, the Wisconsin Center for Health Equity, the state public defender’s office, the Department of Health Services, and Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. Released in November 2012, the HIA is entitled “Healthier Lives, Stronger Families, Safer Communities: How Increasing Funding for Alternatives to Prison Will Save Lives and Money in Wisconsin.”
Impacts: The HIA has had a tremendous impact on the conversation around treatment over incarceration in Wisconsin. Every major media outlet in the state covered the release of the HIA findings, and while the 2013 budget is still being debated, many Republican and Democratic legislators have pledged public support to an increase in funding for treatment alternatives in the state budget. The HIA has also influenced Community Justice Reinvestment discussions at the state level.
WISDOM is continuing to use the HIA in meetings with legislators, to strengthen cross-sector relationships with the public health community, to organize their base, and keep the issue in the media spotlight.
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