Two ULI profiles of affordable and mixed-income housing developments highlight how health-promoting features, such as community gardens, active staircases, and outdoor recreation areas, support the mental, social, and physical health of residents.
The profiles of New Genesis Apartments and Prospect Plaza are featured on the Building Healthy Places Toolkit and ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative – Healthy Housing websites, which outline opportunities to enhance health through changes in approaches to buildings and projects.
New Genesis Apartments
New Genesis Apartments is a 106-unit, mixed-income, mixed-use housing redevelopment project located between downtown Los Angeles’s burgeoning historic core and the city’s Skid Row neighborhood, a 50-block area that is home to more than 4,600 people who lack permanent stable housing.
The project transformed the former Genesis Hotel, a two-story, 30-unit single-room-occupancy property built in the 1920s, into a development where 75 percent of the apartments house people with a history of homelessness or chronic mental illness, and the remaining units provide affordable housing, including designated artists’ lofts. There is evidence that the project has already produced positive health outcomes, including a reduction in the number of resident emergency-room visits.
Prospect Plaza is a mixed-use affordable housing redevelopment project spread over five buildings and three blocks in Brooklyn’s Ocean Hill–Brownsville neighborhood. The $200 million project is replacing a former New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complex with a mix of nearly 400 public housing and affordable rental apartments, retail space, and community and recreational facilities designed to support resident health in a rapidly developing area with significant public health challenges.