CLF Healthy Neighborhood Work Gets Massive Boost

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will drive local investment and advocacy

December 20, 2017 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it has received a $4.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to expand the pioneering work CLF has undertaken to revitalize neighborhoods across Massachusetts. Over the next two and a half years, this grant will support CLF’s ongoing research into the root causes of health disparities in disadvantaged communities as well as efforts to improve health outcomes nationally through investments in safe, walkable neighborhoods with stable and affordable housing, economic opportunity, transportation access, healthy food, and green space.

“From addressing air pollution, to improving public transit, to building sustainable food systems and more, community health is the cornerstone of everything CLF does,” said CLF president Bradley Campbell. “New research collected on-the-ground has enabled us to chart a course for transformational change in Boston and other urban centers across Massachusetts tailored to the unique needs of each community. Thanks to this generous grant from RWJF, this proven model will be expanded and replicated nationally.”

“As the nation’s largest health foundation, we are excited to be working alongside finance and community development partners on revitalizing neighborhoods in a way that holds up health, well-being and equity as a central goal,” said Abbey Cofsky, managing director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We hope to see meaningful health improvements in these communities over time, and to spread what works to other communities across the nation.” 

CLF’s continued work under this grant is in partnership with a number of local organizations, including the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Community Innovators Lab, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Urban Imprint, Centers for Disease Control 500 Cities Project, nine community groups, and 45 local environmental justice advocates in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Lynn, Brockton, New Bedford, and Fall River.

MHIC President and CEO Joe Flatley commented, “MHIC is proud of our partnership with CLF in launching the first Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund. We are particularly excited to underscore the connection between community development and health outcomes. This insight has the potential to attract new investment in lower income communities to address health disparities.”

More information about the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund can be found here, and additional information about CLF’s innovative research method is available here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.