The Beginning of BUILDing Impact in the Community
The New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative has been focusing on providing follow up visits to the homes we assessed within our healthy homes initiative. Our Community Health Ambassadors (CHAs) have been busy engaging residents to get updates on whether their housing conditions have been resolved or whether new issues have arisen. We’ve also teamed our CHAs with medical students from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to leverage their expertise in providing residents with information on health concerns based on their housing conditions. This is part of our overall commitment to (1) help mitigate any outstanding housing issues and (2) address any health concerns via referrals to appropriate services.
As expected, our team has been busy helping mitigating outstanding issues with landlords being non-compliant with making necessary repairs. This has ranged from assisting residents in writing letters to landlords to helping residents filing complaints with the New Brunswick Rent Control office. We also been busy with making referrals to health services from helping connect residents to a medical home to helping some find a specialist to address more complex health issues.
What has been a very pleasant outcome has been some of our residents taking a proactive stance in exercising their rights as tenants. One tenant in particular stated that she stopped her landlord from raising her rent beyond the allowable limit dictated by our local rent control ordinance. While another resident stated that upon seeing our project’s flyer on her refrigerator, her landlord inquired whether she was participating in our program. Upon say yes, the landlord stated that he would now have to make repairs to her kitchen, which resulted in not only the repairs being completed but also in getting a new stove. These resident stories are examples of our community applying the information we have provided and the reputation that our healthy housing initiative has establish, respectively, that are demonstrating the early impact on improving housing conditions within the Esperanza and Unity Square communities of New Brunswick.
In addition, the Collaborative has continued to work with the New Brunswick Rent Control Office to open a more effective line of communication between residents and their office and they have reported an increase in residents contacting them for information on tenant rights and filing housing complaints. We look to forward to both collecting and expanding our impact in the community as we move forward.
About the Grantee
New Brunswick Tomorrow's mission is to improve the quality of life for all New Brunswick residents; driving ideas, partnerships and initiatives that reinvigorate lives and move people forward. Within Community Health, a major focus area, we look to improve health outcomes by promoting health active lifestyles, preventing diseases, and increasing access to health services.