HUD Healthy Communities Transformation Initiative

mother_tickle_sonThe Healthy Communities Transformation Initiative (HCTI) is a project, funded by HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC), to improve the health systems and the physical, social, and economic service structures that support healthy living and healthy behaviors in our communities. Healthy Housing Solutions, Inc. (Solutions) is leading a team of partners in developing this initiative. Two key elements of the HCTI are the development of a Healthy Communities Index (HCI) and a Healthy Communities Assessment Tool (HCAT).

The HCI helps communities identify baseline conditions, prioritize investments, and evaluate progress towards community health goals. The HCI contains ten domains, including Educational Opportunities, Economic Health, Employment Opportunities, Environmental Hazards, Health Systems and Public Safety, Housing, Natural Areas, Neighborhood Characteristics, Transportation, and Social Cohesion. These domains include evidence-based community health indicators selected on the basis of their measurability at the neighborhood level, nexus to health, relationship to established public health objectives, ability to be easily interpreted and scalable for a range of communities, and capacity to motivate and create actionable policy and program change. Beginning with a list of over 150 indicators drawn from peer-reviewed journal articles and other technical documents, the Solutions project team reduced this list to 31 core health indicators, six optional health indicators, and five demographic and contextual measures.

The Healthy Communities Assessment Tool (HCAT) will help communities evaluate these neighborhood level health factors, build partnerships, and engage diverse stakeholders in efforts to improve community health. This electronic web-based tool is in the final stages of development and beta testing. In September 2014, Solutions began working with four cities (Albuquerque, New Mexico; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Diego, California; and Providence, Rhode Island) to pilot test both the HCI and the HCAT over a nine-month period. Solutions will provide training and technical assistance to the cities during this phase of the project.

Contact Noreen Beatley for more information about this project.

Overview of the HUD Healthy Communities Transformation Initiative [PDF]