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

Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America

This paper presents a case for how collaboration among the public health, arts and culture, and community development sectors is critical to addressing the issues and conditions that limit health in America.

Poverty and Place: A Review of the Science and Research That Have Impacted Our Work 2019

Purpose Built Communities surveys the research and science that effects their work in communities.

Actions Toward Equity

This report shares lessons learned from the 2013-2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winning communities.

On the Path to Health Equity: Building Capacity to Measure Health Outcomes in Community Development

This new report by Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America shows how an innovative pilot program – the Health Outcomes Demonstration Project – equipped 20 affordable housing and community development organizations to evaluate health outcomes across a range of programs. The evaluated programs include neighborhood improvement and community safety initiatives, youth education and services, housing …


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

Measurement Across Sectors: Common Indicators for the Social Determinants of Health

Authors: Renee Roy Elias, Douglas Jutte, Alison Moore In this academic article published in Social Science and Medicine – Population Health, the Build Healthy Places Network explores what common metrics and indicators are used across sectors to measure health. The importance of social determinants of health (SDOH) —such as affordable housing, stable employment, consistent transportation, healthy food access, and …

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.


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

From Outcomes to Impact: An Exploratory Model for Estimating the Health Returns of Comprehensive Community Development

The potential health returns from community development investments are vast. This research estimates a nearly 300% rate of return from one such comprehensive development project in Washington D.C. and provides an ROI calculator to estimate health returns for other community development investments.

Opportunity Zones: Resource Hub

Opportunity Zones have the potential to improve conditions that influence social determinants of health in high need neighborhoods. Opportunity Zones were established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities. Opportunity Zones offer special treatment on capital gains in a way that’s designed to drive long-term investment …

Analyzing investment flows in comprehensive community revitalization: The case of Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco

Published in the Journal of Urban Affairs, the Network’s Renee Roy Elias’ study uses the case of housing revitalization in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood to determine the feasibility of analyzing public, private, and nonprofit investment flows related to the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and HOPE SF.

Building Pre-K: Philanthropy & CDFI Collaborations in Financing Early Education Facilities

This “Building Pre-K” report from LIIF examines efforts aimed at financing quality preschool facilities at scale and highlights the potential for increasing the impact of collaborations among philanthropy, community development financiers and the public sector.


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

PACDC: A Healthcare Partnership Playbook for Community Development

The Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations featured the Network’s Partnerships for Health Equity and Opportunity: A Healthcare Playbook for Community Developers in the 2019 Vital Signals issues. Read the issue here. What does it mean for a community to be healthy? When you think about it, health is so much more than not being sick. A healthy …

Gentrification and Neighborhood Change: Helpful Tools for Communities

Developed by the University of Illinois Chicago’s Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement this toolkit presents strategies for addressing the pressures of gentrification in a community during different phases of gentrification.

Gentrification, Displacement and the Role of Public Investment: A Literature Review

This literature review will document the vast bodies of scholarship that have sought to
examine the issues of gentrification and displacement.

Dealing with Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices

PolicyLink and the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy created this primer on how to view the issue of gentrification.