The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released a Healthy Housing for All: How Affordable Housing is Leading the Way report, showcasing the intersection of health and housing. ULI is the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world. The organization provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.
The Villages of East Lake in Atlanta is one of six community development projects from around the country that are included as exemplars of “health-promoting housing.”
The report highlighted the innovative partnerships, financing strategies and revenue streams that helped facilitate the transformation of the Villages of East Lake – and what are some of the hallmarks of the Purpose Built Communities network around the country.
It also shared stats on the effectiveness of East Lake’s holistic neighborhood strategy:
- “A focus on education, economic development, and enhanced safety and vibrancy of the neighborhood led to significant improvements in community well-being including a 97 percent drop in violent crime.”
- “Today, residents stay 3.5 times longer in East Lake than in similar apartments, and residents in units with deep, permanent affordable housing stay an average of seven years.”
- “Half of all units are reserved for those qualifying for public housing assistance, with the rest available at market rate.”
- “A central aim of the project was to retain residents and enable them to invest their time and money in the community. Residents of East Lake Meadows public housing were given priority in the new Villages of East Lake subsidized units; over a quarter chose to return.”
Carol Naughton, President of Purpose Built Communities, is quoted in the report: “It’s good business to focus on the social determinants of health in housing. Partnerships that promote programs and design features that support healthy living serve to increase revenue.” Naughton participated in a panel discussion on the report at ULI’s annual Housing Opportunity Conference in California in February 2019.