On Friday, June 1, UNC Greensboro received national attention as the official kick-off site for The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Healthy Homes Month. UNCG was chosen in large part for the groundbreaking work conducted by Dr. Stephen Sills, director of the UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies, to improve housing in Greensboro’s Cottage Grove neighborhood.

Sills, who is also an associate professor in sociology at UNCG, organized the Innovations in Planning for Better Community Housing and Health Symposium in conjunction with the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, to share lessons learned, best practices and insights from a variety of thought leaders from across the region.

The event drew the attention of HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, who delivered keynote remarks, as well as local dignitaries, business leaders, including Cone Health CEO Terry Akin, along with city planners, community officials, nonprofit leaders, researchers, students, advocates and other professionals whose work relates to health and housing.

The symposium was funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and Invest Health, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund initiative, to aid U.S. neighborhoods facing the greatest barriers to good health.

Event sessions explored the use of data and cross-sector collaborations to develop healthy neighborhoods, improve city planning and housing quality, the use of data to revitalize housing and health in mid-sized cities and much more.

According to Sills, Friday’s event is already having an impact.

“Synergy from the symposium has already led to several calls for collaboration, and potential projects with Cone Health,” he said.

 

Story by Eden Bloss, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications