Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Healthy Neighborhoods Fund Phase II

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

March 23, 2018




In Progress


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, NYSHealth launched its Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, an initiative to help six communities across New York State become healthier and more active places. NYSHealth invested $2 million in the initiative during its first two years, and has since 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. NYSHealth 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 2018, NYSHealth awarded University Settlement Society of New York a grant to participate in this initiative.

Under this grant, University Settlement will build upon efforts to activate and organize resources for healthy living in neighborhoods on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, with the goal of making healthy lifestyles accessible to residents of all ages. Specifically, University Settlement will work with older residents and partner organizations to assess communities’ needs and available services related to healthy eating; identify barriers to and opportunities for healthy, affordable food; and design initiatives to promote and sustain healthy food access for residents. In addition, University Settlement will partner with neighborhoods to make physical activity safer and more accessible for seniors, including developing a branded map for a walking trail with at least three exercise circuits in public spaces.

See a full list of the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees.