December 23rd, 2021

What an interesting six months since our June Newsletter, with most Housing for Health (HfH) projects being suspended (again) due to COVID-19 restrictions. Healthabitat has made good use of this time by planning and preparing for HfH projects to recommence and remotely coordinating a HfH pilot project in Brownsville, New York City (NYC), USA.

Two HfH projects have now commenced / resumed in the Northern Territory (NT).  The first sets of Plumbing and Electrical Demo Boards have been delivered to Alice Springs ready to be used in 2022! NSW Health has begun to restart existing projects across NSW and we are ready and keen to start new HfH projects from February/ March next year.

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Below is a snapshot of the NYC, Northern Territory and NSW projects.

Housing for Health (HfH) Projects

HfH, Brownsville, New York City (NYC), USA

Healthabitat remotely returned to NYC to conduct a pilot project in Brownsville. This follows on from the HfH project in Brooklyn, NYC in 2010.

We have been remotely training the New York based Project Manager, Data Manager and Team Leaders employed by The Brownsville Partnership, who are leading the project on the ground. They have been training and working with tenants, private and community landlords and One-Brooklyn Health who have been developing a referral system for the project to provide targeted housing improvements for those most in need.

Long-term HH project partner IAPMO are assisting with on the ground training of team leaders and team members and have been responsible for the local manufacture of the plumbing training boards, similar to the boards used in Australian HfH Projects.

The team have successfully completed a survey-fix in their first 26 apartments, identifying and repairing items around the home that will give the best health outcome, particularly for children under 5 years old. Similar to findings in Australia and from the last project in 2010, common items such as faulty power outlets and light switches, toilets, taps and drains are being failed. Mould in wet areas has again found to be a major issue in the many leaking and unventilated apartments.

The Healthabitat team in Australia are regularly meeting with the NYC based team, reviewing their survey sheets, data collection, findings and data entry. Over the next 12 months 100 more housing units will be surveyed and fixed. What a great international team!


Brownsville HfH team Left to right is Jed Scheuermann (IAPMO), Taurean Lewis (BP Team Leader), Michelle Blassou (Project Manager) and Harrison Haigood (Data Manager)

Brownsville HfH team – Left to right is Jed Scheuermann (IAPMO), Taurean Lewis (BP Team Leader), Michelle Blassou (Project Manager) and Harrison Haigood (Data Manager)

Maintaining Houses for Better Health (MHBH), Alice Springs, Northern Territory (NT)

A Housing for Health project of 26 houses has been conducted in Alice Springs as part of a pilot MHBH Project in conjunction with Territory Families Housing Communities (TFHC). The MHBH pilot uses the same methodology as a Housing for Health project, but aims to become an ongoing annual ‘health & safety audit & fix’ for a housing organisation rather than a one off project.

It’s been a successful start with community engagement on survey- fix teams, access to all houses, targeted fix work and use of a remote Data Manager, due to COVID-19 restrictions. A total of 270 houses will be surveyed and fixed annually over the next two years with the aim for the process to become embedded as part of the annual cyclical maintenance program for the community, which is a great outcome.


Survey/fix team in Alice Springs surveying and testing a bathroom

HfH, Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory (NT)

Two HfH Survey/ Fix 1 Projects were run between lockdowns on Groote Eylandt. HH Project Manager, Greg Norman, has been working closely with the Anindilyakwa Housing Aboriginal Corporation to keep these projects running during this difficult time.


Survey/fix teams in Groote Eylandt – Team leaders survey and fix household items across the 21 houses


Next year is looking to be a busy year in NSW with many HfH projects planned by NSW Health and training of new Project Managers and Team Leaders.

A local trade from a recently completed HfH project in Far West NSW shared some great local employment statistics and stories with us, including what value they see in the Housing for Health process. Read their thoughts in a recent news item here.


We thank you for your ongoing support!

HH Team


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