Why was the Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities website developed?

The purpose of this website is to help individuals and groups better understand the many important factors that shape our opportunities to have healthy homes and healthy communities. You can use the ideas presented to guide your personal or professional practice. The scientific and practice-based content of this website can help inform decision-making to improve the health of communities and help promote Economic recovery, pandemic (or disaster) recovery, and environmental stewardship. By using this website you will have a better understanding of what matters when it comes to health and wellbeing in your home and community.

More about the project:

This website is meant to be used by anyone interested in supporting healthier homes and healthier communities, including, for example:

  • real estate professionals,
  • urban and rural planners,
  • land developers,
  • researchers,
  • municipal representatives,
  • community organizations,
  • social service organizations,
  • health service representatives,
  • public health representatives, and
  • consumers (e.g., homeowners, home buyers, renters).

Specifically the website content was designed to be used by real estate agents, consumers, planners, and developers to inform decision-making, and by researchers, municipalities, and the real estate industry to better understand the health of communities.

Start by exploring each of the key factors for healthy communities: Neighbourhood Design, Transportation, Housing, Social Environment, Natural Environment, Food Environment, Economic Development, Child- and Age-Friendliness, Healthy Homes 

On each of these key factor pages, the following icons are used to signal the connections between key healthy community and healthy home factors and how they link to three societal focal areas of concern.  Find out more about the societal focal areas of concern.

Glossary terms are presented on each page to build a common vocabulary and shared understanding of important healthy homes and healthy communities concepts. Glossary terms appear with a dashed underline. Hover over these terms and a definition will appear.

Each key factor page concludes with a list of key considerations for different audiences, including:

  • Homeowners/Buyers/Renters
  • Real Estate Professionals
  • Rural and Urban Planners
  • Residential Land Developers
  • Municipal Representatives

Embedded within these key considerations are links to relevant examples or resources. For more information, click on the links provided.

This website was developed through scientific and practice-based evidence and through the input of many individuals from a Diverse range of organizations, all of whom are intended audiences for this website. These included:

  • Real estate professionals
  • Urban and rural planners
  • Land developers
  • Researchers
  • Municipal representatives
  • Community organizations
  • Social services organizations
  • Health services representatives
  • Public health representatives
  • Consumers

In 2021 we completed a literature review to understand what evidence-informed resources and recommendations are currently available to support healthy home- and healthy community-related decision making. Our findings were published in the report, Healthy homes and healthy communities in a post-COVID Alberta: What Canadian resources and recommendations exist? 6 

That report was used to guide and support two stakeholder engagement workshops, hosted in June 2021, with the goal to identify additional healthy communities and healthy home criteria based on people’s professional or lived experiences. The review and workshop content was then elaborated into a draft toolkit. Subsequent evidence reviews and stakeholder feedback helped to revise and finalize the content presented in web-format. We plan to continue to update this website through our ongoing Centre for Healthy Communities work.

Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities – Project Stages

The Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities website was developed by a team led by Dr. Candace Nykiforuk, Scientific Director at the Centre for Healthy Communities, School of Public Health, University of Alberta.

The Centre for Healthy Communities aims to grow this website in the coming years, adding new information, resources, and media. The intention is to continuously expand the website, with up-to-date evidence and examples to support and inspire Albertans and others in creating healthy communities and homes.

This project was made possible through a grant from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. The Alberta Real Estate Foundation invests in real estate policy, research, practices, and education that strengthen Alberta’s communities. The Foundation’s revenues come from the interest earned on public money deposited in real estate brokers’ pooled trust accounts. Learn more at www.aref.ab.ca.

We thank all participating representatives and organizations for their time, commitment, and invaluable feedback and advice in the development of the Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities website.

CHC Staff

  • Genevieve Montemurro
  • Olivia Kim
  • Laura Nieuwendyk

Research Team

  • Dr. Candace Nykiforuk (Project Lead)
  • Dr. Anita Kozyrksyj
  • Dr. Stephanie Montesanti
  • Dr. Norman Neumann
  • Dr. Kate Storey
  • Dr. Shelby Yamamoto

The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.