EC New York’s Bronx Healthy Buildings Program Receives Two-Year, $250,000 Award

The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC), a member of the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative, which is the host of Emerald Cities New York, is the lead recipient of a two-year, $250,000 award from the BUILD Health Challenge to implement the Bronx Healthy Buildings Program. This was one of seven projects nationwide receiving implementation support for groundbreaking approaches for improving health in low-income communities.

EC New York is a subgrantee of NWBCCC on the two-year, community-based project, whose lead partners also include the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Montefiore Medical Center. The partnering health system or systems on each implementation award have also committed a 1:1 match with financial and in-kind support to advance the partnership’s goals.

Founded in 1974, NWBCCC organizes residents to fight for long-term solutions to problems in its community. EC New York is working closely with coalition board president Sandra Lobo and other staff on implementation of the Bronx Healthy Buildings Program.

Residents in the Williamsbridge, Fordham, Bedford Park, Belmont, East Tremont and Morrisania sections of the Bronx suffer from disproportionately high rates of asthma and resulting hospitalizations, emergency room visits and missed school and work days. Poor housing conditions, poverty and low healthy literacy contribute to those high rates of illness and associated hospitalizations.

Better Health Through Reduced Energy Use
The Bronx Healthy Buildings Program will address those high rates of asthma and preventable hospitalizations by upgrading multi-family buildings that house low-income residents to improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

In addition, the program will:

  • Train and organize residents around the social determinants of health – including the condition of buildings;
  • Recruit and train community health workers who will deliver tenant and landlord education on asthma self-management;
  • Coordinate education campaigns for at-risk families and individuals; and
  • Implement safe pest control to deal with rodents and cockroaches, which are recognized asthma triggers.

In addition to reduced energy use and improved air quality, anticipated outcomes include creation of green jobs and improved housing affordability. The program will use the savings that accrue from lower energy use to finance building upgrades and to lower overall costs for landlords and tenants. 

“Emerald Cities New York congratulates NWBCCC and the entire Bronx Healthy Buildings Program partnership on receiving a BUILD Health Challenge award,” said EC New York Director Maggie Tishman. “This partnership represents an unprecedented collaboration among anchor institutions, city government and grassroots organizations in the Bronx; and it embodies a uniquely holistic vision for achieving community health, sustainability and economic development simultaneously. We are proud to be part of the Bronx Healthy Buildings Program.”

Working closely with its awardees, the BUILD Health Challenge will identify and disseminate the most promising models of health improvement to stimulate similar initiatives in other U.S. communities.

The BUILD Health Challenge was founded by The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to encourage community partnerships among local nonprofit organizations, hospitals and health systems and health departments to improve the health and well-being of their residents.


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