Coffelt-Lamoreaux Public Housing Redevelopment HIA

PUBLIC HOUSING REDEVELOPMENT HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The Coffelt-Lamoreaux Public Housing Project (Coffelt) was developed in 1953, the oldest operational project in the Housing Authority of Maricopa County’s (HAMC) public housing stock. It is bounded on two sides by a freeway and on the other two by large, high traffic arterial streets. Over the past 50 years, the neighborhood has been encroached upon by industrial and commercial land uses. The community is geographically and therefore socially isolated from surrounding neighborhoods.

The proposed plan for Coffelt was to redevelop the 296 units and their surrounding complex. The redevelopment had the potential to directly or indirectly (positively or negatively) impact health outcomes in a significant manner.  A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was proposed to identify positive and negative impacts of the proposed project on community health. Recommendations would then be developed to (1) minimize, mitigate or eliminate negative or inequitable impacts on the community; and (2) improve the community’s health and wellbeing.

Catalyze Research and Consulting undertook this project following the standard steps of an HIA including screening, scoping, assessment, generating recommendations, reporting and developing a monitoring and evaluation plan, while engaging stakeholders through every step. Community stakeholders provided audit, survey and asset data that helped supplement the quantitative environmental and health data. The advisory committee consisting of a team of community stakeholders and technical experts, alongside the HIA team developed recommendations based on the data collected and residents’ input. Bilingual facilitators at large group meetings ensured that everyone’s voices were heard when prioritizing the needs of the community. Evidence-based recommendations resulting from this process were addressed to the housing authority, the developer, the CDC, several city and county departments and to residents. The 61 recommendations addressed key issues within each of the following five categories:

  • Access to healthy food
  • Access to physical activity
  • Access to healthy and safe housing
  • Access to safe streets and affordable transportation
  • Social Cohesion and Community Wellbeing

All recommendations were well received and the project is now in planning/implementation phase with several parallel activities ongoing. Both the Housing Authority of Maricopa County and the developer perceived the HIA as a tool beneficial in informing the specifics of the redevelopment, but also as a catalyst for continued growth and revitalization of the community. The process brought together unprecedented county and city partnerships and collaborations to help support implementation efforts. The redevelopment has already received $44million in funding and continues to receive additional financial backing for specific recommendations. One such example is the funding the city received for installing a High-Intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) light on the high traffic arterial street adjacent to the school so students can get across without putting their lives in peril. This was a specific recommendation resultant from the HIA. Another example is funding that has come from local sources to design the neighborhood park to best suit the community’s needs as recommended by the HIA process. Based on recommendations of the HIA, the local Community Development Corporation is conducting leadership classes for residents to build capacity in developing a community council. While the redevelopment is projected to stimulate revitalization and economic growth in the area, the self-efficacy and social cohesion the HIA process has catalyzed in residents, will sustain this community’s wellbeing much beyond the completion of this project.

To read the full HIA report, visit
http://www.pewtrusts.org

To read a case study of the Coffelt-Lamoreaux Publiv Housing Redevelopment HIA, visit
http://www.pewtrusts.org

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