Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Healthy Neighborhoods Fund Phase 2

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

November 27, 2017






Good health outcomes are more prevalent in neighborhoods where people have easy access to nutritious, affordable food; safe and walkable streets; and active playgrounds and public spaces.

Living in neighborhoods without these essentials, residents are more likely to be burdened with high rates of obesity, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses. In 2015, NYHealth launched its Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, an initiative to help six communities across New York State become healthier and more active places. NYHealth invested $2 million during its first two years, and has leveraged an additional $181 million in funding for these six communities, helping nearly half a million New Yorkers have greater access to healthy, affordable food and safe ways in which to be physically active. NYHealth is continuing its commitment to the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund by investing an additional $2.5 million over the next three years in these six communities. In 2017, NYHealth awarded Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) a grant to continue its participation in the initiative.

Under the second phase of the initiative, FPHNY built upon its efforts to support the health and wellness of East Harlem residents by improving access to public spaces for exercise and recreation. FPHNY’s priority is community engagement, including amplifying community voices, identifying community-raised concerns, and working toward local solutions with residents and partners to the greatest extent possible. Core activities to improve the built environment for physical activity in East Harlem included sustaining the East Harlem Community Walking Trail, launching a communications campaign for physical activity, and supporting the El Barrio Bikes community cycling initiative. It worked toward the goal of decreasing the prevalence of adults who report no exercise and improving neighborhood social cohesion.