Healthy and safe housing is linked to healthier, longer lives. To empower and support resident leaders, NYCHA and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Center for Health Equity recently hosted the “What Creates Health @ NYCHA?” summit, which connected participants to resources and activities for creating healthier communities and indoor environments.
Nearly 120 people, including NYCHA residents, staff, and partners, attended the health summit at Johnson Community Center in Manhattan. Keynote speaker Public Advocate Jumaane Williams spoke to residents about his background as a housing organizer, and he stressed the importance of their voices and ideas and the need to promote mental health. The fun and interactive day also featured a dance performance by young residents from Castle Hill Houses and fruit and vegetable smoothies made by a blender powered by bicycle pedaling.
In addition to a session on mental health and the ways the body reacts to stress, resident leaders and experts discussed how to help community members prevent and manage diabetes, tips on how to start a walking group, and how to plan and activate communities around healthy food. Workshops on healthy homes focused on programs at NYCHA, including Integrated Pest Management, Mold Busters, and Smoke-Free NYCHA. The workshops also highlighted how resident associations interested in community health can use Tenant Participation Activity funds to support programs.