Network Resource Library

We provide access to research, best practices and models demonstrating what works, highlighting the health-related value and impact of community development work

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What Makes a Healthy Community?

A healthy community is one where people have the opportunity to make healthy choices, in environments that are safe, free from violence, and designed to promote health. Factors that influence health range from early childhood education to quality housing and jobs, and include many other areas of community development such as financial inclusion, access to health clinics and healthy food, sustainable energy, and transportation.

Learn about efforts to foster and support healthy communities, and read about those already in action.

Featured Healthy Community Resources

Neighborhood Adversity, Child Health, and the Role for Community Development

Our article in the Pediatrics medical journal. Childhood health and well-being have not been broadly achieved, but the community development sector stands ready to engage.

Collaborating For Community Health

The November 2014 issue of Health Affairs examines new possibilities created by alignment of the fields of health and community development.

Making the Case for Linking Community Development and Health

A resource for those working to improve low-income communities and the lives of people living in them.

Urban Blight and Public Health: Addressing the Impact of Substandard Housing, Abandoned Buildings, and Vacant Lots

We spend more than two-thirds of our time where we live, and the state of our homes and neighborhoods invariably affects our individual and family’s well-being. Studies have shown that the conditions within our residences, the surrounding neighborhood, and the cost of housing affect our health. The quality of housing can contribute to general well-being …


Evidence shows that community development work has health-related impact.

Learn about the measurement systems already being used, the information being collected, and how research demonstrates the link between community development and health.

Featured Measurement Resources

Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Evidence Base

This literature review summarizes what we currently know from research about the effects of stable and affordable housing. The research is condensed into defensible points – backed by solid supporting evidence – to serve as a resource for understanding and communicating the many impacts of affordable housing.

The Role of Hospitals in Improving Non-Medical Determinants of Community Population Health

This report by the New York State Health Foundation outlines which hospitals in New York State and nationally are addressing non-medical determinants of community population health, as well as facilitators of and barriers to this work.  

Taking Health Into Account

By systematically assessing the health risks of development decisions upfront, health impact assessments can prevent costly and harmful mistakes.

What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities

A book from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute outlines opportunities and challenges for the strategic use of data to build healthier, stronger communities.


Cross-sector collaboration has the potential to drive additional capital, including catalytic capital, into low-income communities, as well as pave the way for more coordinated investment to achieve greater outcomes.

Learn more about the role that investment plays at the intersection of community development and health.

Featured Investment Resources

Aligning Home and Health Care Through Strategic Investment

When you invest in the Enterprise Community Impact Note, you are supporting the creation of vibrant and equitable communities where families have access to healthy, affordable homes connected to good schools, jobs, transit and health care services. This report features the stories of people who are prospering thanks to your support. They are residents and patients …

Connecting the Dots: A Healthy Community Leader’s Guide to Understanding the Nonprofit Hospital Community Benefit Requirements

Imagine a healthy community as a connect-the-dots landscape painting. Each “dot” has its place and purpose: affordable housing, a vibrant economy, safe streets and public transportation, a high quality public education system, easy access to fresh food and safe recreation, and a healthcare system that provides both preventative and responsive services. When connected as designed …

Scaling U.S. Community Investing: The Investor-Product Interface

“Community investing” is investment that seeks to deliver social benefits to low-income or marginalized communities while also generating a financial return. This report provides an overview of the U.S. Community Investing (USCI) field: the types of intermediary organizations raising investments and deploying them in underserved communities, the range of investment products that are available, and …

Using Pay-For-Success To Increase Investment In The Nonmedical Determinants Of Health

Pay for success can save health care costs, improve patient outcomes and create a market that values health, not just health care.


Policy and government can support cross-sector engagement, leverage resources, enable investment, and improve investment opportunities and outcomes in low-income communities.

Learn about the role that policy plays at the intersection of community development and health.

Featured Policy Resources

Matching Communities with National Catalyst Organizations to Improve Population Health

Thousands of communities are moving forward on their journeys to improve population health. Communities Joined in Action (CJA) continues to produce regular updates to provide usable, take-home advice intended to accelerate local organizations’ efforts toward achieving better health and well-being for their communities. Nationally, a large number of philanthropically funded initiatives are working to bring …

Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments

A policy guide by geared toward state and local government leaders seeking to use intersectoral collaboration to promote healthy environments.

Population Health at Essential Hospitals: Findings from Moving to Action for Hospitals and Population Health

We now know that an individual’s health is influenced by far more than the clinical care that they receive or their own habits and behaviors. The social, economic, and environmental circumstances of a person’s life can account for as much as 50 percent of what determines their health. This knowledge challenges health care providers to …

An Environmental Scan of Recent Initiatives Incorporating Social Determinants in Public Health

A joint publication initiative between the National Academy of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identifies national examples of cross-sector collaboration to improve public health.