NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative announced that it has been selected to receive the BUILD Health Challenge Award.

The integrated partnership between New Brunswick Tomorrow, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and the Middlesex County Office of Health Services has been selected as one of 18 communities across the nation to receive funding from BUILD for the 2019-2021 term.

The collaborative will use lessons learned from the established Healthy Housing project in New Brunswick. Current home assessments and community outreach conducted by Community Health Ambassadors have sparked momentum with residents to address healthy housing challenges. The project will receive $250,000 in funding and additional resources to support the ongoing work to develop and drive policy changes that ensure healthier homes. The collaborative will work with the City of New Brunswick to improve housing-related city ordinances to enable stable and healthy housing.

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The BUILD Health Challenge is a unique national program focusing on bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven projects. This award strengthens partnerships between local nonprofit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and local health departments to drive sustainable improvements in community health.

“For 45 years New Brunswick Tomorrow has fostered partnerships across the city to meet the needs of New Brunswick residents and improve quality of life. This award provides an additional opportunity to come together around one of the city’s toughest challenges-housing. Together, we look forward to creating meaningful changes that empower families to build healthy homes and healthy communities,” stated Jaymie Santiago, president and CEO of New Brunswick Tomorrow.

“New Brunswick is focused on providing healthy-living opportunities and improving the lives of every one of our citizens. Local partnerships and community-based projects, such as the Healthy Housing Initiative, have resulted in dynamic outreach networks providing health care and services directly into city neighborhoods,” New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill said.

“We are proud to participate in the BUILD Health Challenge and appreciate the opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new partnerships to help reduce health disparities and create opportunities for improved community health,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, FACHE, president and CEO, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick President and Chief Executive Officer John J. Gantner stated, “We are excited to be a part of the BUILD Health Challenge. By receiving this prestigious award, we will continue to work with our partners and address identified housing challenges to improve the health and well-being of the community.”

“As we continue to plan and engage with community stakeholders towards developing Middlesex County’s strategic plan, this Healthy Housing Initiative will connect residents to resources and services to help them lead healthy, active, and prosperous lives. Through a shared commitment with community-based organizations, health care, government officials, residents, and other partners such as the New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative we can shape how our county will grow and change in the future,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.

“As the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) is an enthusiastic partner in the BUILD Health Challenge,” says Bob Atkins, Director of NJHI. “With the New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative as one of two New Jersey-based BUILD projects, we welcome this opportunity to share New Jersey models on a national scale, while also bringing home promising practices from the other 16 BUILD communities across the country to ensure all New Jerseyans have the opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible.”

You can learn more about the Build Health Challenge® by visiting http://www.buildhealthchallenge.org. You can learn more about the New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative’s project by visitinghttps://buildhealthchallenge.org/communities/new-brunswick-health-housing-collaborative/