MACDC Housing Quality and Health Equity Initiative Awarded Funding

MACDC is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a five-year grant for its Housing Quality and Health (HQH) Equity Initiative. The grant from the Massachusetts Community Health and Aging Funds will support MACDC’s efforts to address racial health inequities caused by poor quality housing. 

MACDC is among 24 nonprofit organizations that were collectively awarded $15.6 million in grants in three core areas.  Three CDCs- Community Development Partnership, Community Teamwork, and Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA- also received awards.  MACDC’s award, in the core area of creating long-lasting, community-driven policy, systems, and environmental changes, will focus on addressing the health hazards posed by lead paint and poor indoor air quality. 

In order to address racial health inequities resulting from poor housing quality, MACDC will concentrate its initial work in 5 Gateway Cities which we will select based on need and on the potential to address the problems identified. In these cities, ultimately, we aim to secure new resources to address housing quality problems that impact health, and substantially improve housing quality. Our immediate focus will be on intensive community engagement in these cities: with municipal leaders, CDCs, community residents, and other grassroots organizations. With these community representatives, we will identify the local housing quality problems and their health manifestations, particularly for households of color and low-income households.  

Concurrently, MACDC will: 

Commission a report, which will document the extent of housing quality problems linked to lead paint and poor indoor air quality statewide, document the resources and programs available to address these problems, and identify the gaps in addressing the housing quality problems, and their disproportionate impact on the populations described in the prior paragraph.  

Work to secure new resources to significantly improve the housing quality in these cities, and thereby improve resident health. Ultimately, the plan is to utilize the knowledge gained from the local work, and the additional resources secured, to scale up efforts to address housing quality problems in communities across the Commonwealth. 

The HQH Equity Initiative will build upon the work of the HQH Task Force, a group of experienced practitioners consisting of advocates in the health equity, housing, elder and disability fields; healthcare providers; and data professionals- who have guided MACDC’s housing quality and health work over the past year. 

The work will be co-staffed at MACDC by Elana Brochin, Program Director for Health Equity, and Don Bianchi, Director of Housing. If you have any questions, you can reach out to Don at donb@macdc.org.