Healthy Homes Neighborhood Pilot

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Amount: $60,000
Local Government: City of Newark, NJ
Local Foundation: Victoria Foundation; Greater Newark Local Initiatives Support Corporation; United Way of Essex and West Hudson

Project Purpose

To develop and implement scalable strategies for promoting healthier, more energy-efficient homes through a pilot targeting children under six exposed to lead in two target neighborhoods.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

This project identified the importance of using on-the-ground, participatory research methods to expose barriers to program participation and to generate policy ideas for tackling entrenched problems at scale. The city partner served as a vital link between city agency staff and community organizations.  These cultivated relationships proved invaluable to avoiding misunderstandings that frequently lead to missed opportunities to collaborate on common goals.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Newark was fortunate to start out with strong relationships between local government sustainability staff and local place-based foundations. This project laid groundwork for the new Newark Lead Fund which receives grants from local foundations but operates in close coordination with city agency staff. This project also helped solidify the commitment of one of the foundation partners to support the Office of Sustainability as a backbone entity for managing city-wide sustainability initiatives.

Additional Information and Resources

The Healthy Homes Program addresses home hazards, provides community education and offers resources to support healthy homes for Newark families. Healthy Homes supports the well-being of families and that are free of health hazards, specifically asthma triggers and lead. More information on the program can be found here.