August 5, 2021-- Community Opportunity Fund has teamed up with top academic institutions at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Dartmouth and Harvard universities, Enterprise Community Partners and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America to launch a joint research project to study the efficacy of providing comprehensive social, environmental and health promotion services in affordable housing settings.
This research project will develop a resident data collection infrastructure across a diverse range of geographies, communities, and multifamily housing types to serve as a data platform to assess current and future Community of Opportunity interventions. It will provide the data foundation to support research on the benefits of using affordable housing as a platform to deliver physical and virtual social, health and educational programs to improve the lives of residents.
The goal of the project will be to track the effectiveness of services on residents, building culture and housing conditions, and resident perspectives. The proposed social/environmental well-being audits will follow the successful application of energy audits conducted to determine the efficacy of different types of energy efficiency interventions.
The research will begin with a pilot study at 10 Jonathan Rose Companies communities to thoroughly assess the impact of these programs on residents and building culture over time. This partnership of top educational institutions, affordable housing providers and non-profit service providers is currently developing the infrastructure to collect pertinent information about residents, building amenities and environmental conditions to plan interventions and evaluate the impact of services through initial funding from Jonathan Rose Companies.
“Research and evaluation at this scale is not typically possible in affordable housing,” said Stephany De Scisciolo, PhD, vice president of Knowledge, Impact and Strategy (KIS) at Enterprise Community Partners. “Previous research on resident services has often been limited to a single intervention at a single property. This project offers the opportunity to measure and understand impact across an entire portfolio, a ground-breaking capability that will uncover new and better strategies to benefit the people and communities we serve.”
The partnership is currently seeking additional funding for the multi-site pilot that will test the study infrastructure and community engagement model, provide key baseline data on a range of health, well-being and environmental factors, and position the research initiative for major federal and foundation research opportunities that will ensure longitudinal studies on the value of stable affordable housing and the community of opportunities service and engagement model on health equity.
“The purpose is to figure out as an industry what the most effective leverage points are from a time and cost point of view to transform the lives of affordable housing residents, and how to turn this into public policy,” said Jonathan F.P. Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Companies, Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC, a leading investment manager with expertise in green affordable and mixed income acquisition and development. “Our goal is to magnify this work. With the Biden administration, there is now a tremendous opportunity with enormous receptivity to these ideas. We think this is a really great opportunity.”
There is a clear and compelling opportunity to provide comprehensive social, environmental and health promotion services in affordable housing settings. These efforts should be thoroughly examined for effectiveness by developing the infrastructure to collect pertinent information about residents, building amenities and environmental conditions to plan interventions and evaluate the impact of services and enhance the ability to change future interventions.
The project will be co-created with residents to build trust and encourage their voluntary participation in the project. It will also be developed with significant input from community-based staff such as Resident Service Coordinators, Property Managers, and others.
The data will be made available to the research team, who have helped to design the data collection project. They represent a cross-sectoral collaboration between academic partners (Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Dartmouth Health Policy Institute, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), housing providers (Jonathan Rose Companies) and affordable housing intermediaries (Enterprise Community Partners and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America).
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Founded in 1922, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Columbia Mailman School is the seventh largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its nearly 300 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change and health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with more than 1,300 graduate students from 55 nations pursuing a variety of master’s and doctoral degree programs. The Columbia Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers, including ICAP and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit www.mailman.columbia.edu.