Health impact assessments (HIA) are an internationally-recognized tool. They check the impacts of a proposed project or policy change on the health of affected populations. It's a chance to apply a Health in All Policies (HiAP) lens to decision-making processes.
BPHC completed a development-oriented HIA in 2012 on a large development project located at 35 Northampton Square in Roxbury. We have also participated on many advisory boards for completed HIAs in Boston.
In October 2014, BPHC received a grant from the Health Impact Project to conduct a HIA of proposed updates to the City of Boston’s Living Wage Ordinance. The Living Wage Ordinance was first passed in 1998. It requires city-contracted employers to pay at least $13.89 per hour. Our HIA informed public debate about how proposed changes to enforce and expand the ordinance might affect the health of low income workers.
Beyond changes to the ordinance, we hope the HIA informs future debates on the links between economic policy and the health of the city’s low income residents and neighborhoods. We hope it builds stronger connections between efforts to build health equity and economic justice in the city.
Support for this project comes from the Health Impact Project grant.