Communities of Opportunity

Thriving, Healthy Communities

Opportunity grows with connectivity. We seek locations in which we can connect our residents to: affordable transportation networks, high speed internet access, health, education, retail and employment networks. We will prioritize developing new communities in locations with these resources. We also purchase and preserve existing affordable housing in locations that have the potential to realize our Communities of Opportunity vision. 

Asset Based Community Development

Our residents are experts in their communities by experience and can best identify what is important to them. The Asset Based Community Development approach allows residents to become empowered partners in the transformation of their communities. It is so much richer to find out what people want, what they need, what they love to do and what assets they bring to the community.  

The concept of co-production begins with the question to residents “What matters to you?” rather than “What is the matter with you?” as is so often used when addressing issues in low income communities. 

As our residents experience their engagement producing positive outcomes, their empowerment and capacity, or “collective efficacy” grows. Over time, as they contribute not only to their buildings but also to their neighborhoods, we envision that our projects will become beacons, radiating well-being into the wider community.

Communities of Opportunity Study

To achieve our goal of scaling opportunity for all regardless of the zipcode in which they live, we must measure the outcomes of housing-based health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as greening efforts, on the lives of our residents and the quality and stability of their communities. 

To do so, we have brought together a multi-disciplinary research and practitioner team comprised of national experts who will develop and field test an assessment methodology to understand the key pathways necessary to improve life outcomes for residents living in affordable housing. 

The project will take place at affordable housing sites owned and operated by Jonathan Rose Companies. Enterprise Community Partners is providing neighborhood assessments via its Opportunity 360 program, and is leading on policy and systems change. The individual assessments are being designed by nationally recognized experts from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (Principal Investigator); the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, focusing on the environmental contributors to health; the Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, focusing on systemic cost savings and Success Measures - a social enterprise within NeighborWorks America. 

We hypothesize this data will indicate pathways to increase resident health and wellbeing, reduce health care costs and property ownership costs, and compare the efficacy of the range of interventions. 

And then, with meaningful data, working with Enterprise, intervening at the level of private financing, and public, city and State housing programs, we will scale these ideas, with the vision that one day, every child in America will grow up in a Community of Opportunity, regardless of the neighborhood in which they live.

We use an Asset Based Community Development approach to support and deliver Communities of Opportunity. ABCD is a sustainable, community driven strategy that empowers residents and encourages active participation in community development.