Neighborhoods First Fund
Building Healthy Communities
June 24, 2019
Founded in 2015, the Neighborhoods First Fund (NFF) is a donor collaborative that promotes equitable and inclusive development in New York City. NFF gives grants to community-based organizations to help residents living in communities targeted for rezoning articulate their concerns and desires over land-use decisions, particularly in historically disinvested neighborhoods. NFF grantees help mobilize coalitions of local residents and community partners to respond to City- and developer-initiated land use actions and advocate for policies they want to see adopted. NFF has since expanded its focus beyond rezoning issues that affect neighborhoods and has begun to address issues related to health. Over the next three years, NFF will invest up to $2 million per year in its nine neighborhoods and in new neighborhoods. In 2019, NYSHealth awarded a grant to NFF to become a partner in the funding coalition and to support health-focused initiatives specifically, in NYSHealth’s Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities of East Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Brownsville.
Under this grant, NYSHealth’s investment will leverage $100,000 in NFF matching funds that support efforts in all Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities, encourage NFF to incorporate health into its work, and secure funding for Brownsville, a neighborhood that NFF has not funded to date. NYSHealth’s grant will also support initiatives specifically in East Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Brownsville that focus on the built environment to improve health. All NFF funding members participate in grantmaking decisions, and NYSHealth staff will be directly involved in the decision-making process. Projects will be consistent with NYSHealth’s strategy of improving the built environment to promote physical activity, and could include funding to improve access to transportation, remediate brownfields, and establish new parks, greenways, and public spaces.