In 2011, the San Antonio Housing Authority was awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to transform Wheatley Courts public housing development and the surrounding neighborhood. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and Urban Strategies conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) of the plan.
The HIA suggested that Choice Neighborhoods San Antonio develop a comprehensive plan to address health inequities in an ethnically diverse community. The report recommended that it include both medical interventions (e.g., addressing issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary artery disease) and health and wellness issues (e.g., food deserts and a lack of health insurance).
The HIA provided information for the USDA to certify the neighborhood as a food desert, and funds were approved for several initiatives, including an urban farm. The HIA also provided the information needed to develop a comprehensive health plan for the community that was approved unanimously by the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
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