Healthy Housing

The Raritan Bay Area YMCA understands that where we live can help determine the state of our physical and mental health. Unfortunately, due to social and economic reasons, many Perth Amboy residents are living in unhealthy and substandard homes and apartments, making them more susceptible to fires, carbon monoxide poisonings, mold, and stress. Over the past two years, the Y has supported the creation of a new housing element of the City of Perth Amboy’s Master Plan which seeks to make positive policy and systems changes. Community engagement in this initiative is a critical element if it is to be successful. As a promoter of physical, mental, and spiritual health, the Y has launched an Educational Healthy Housing Campaign to speak with and inform residents about the components of a healthy home, tenant rights, and assistance in advocating for positive policy and systems changes.

The Raritan Bay Area YMCA, with funding from the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network, has hired two bilingual Healthy Housing Ambassadors. Both ambassadors have lived in Perth Amboy for over a decade, are embedded into the culture of their city, and are passionate about the wellbeing of their community. The Healthy Housing Ambassadors will begin conducting door-to-door Healthy Home Assessments with Perth Amboy residents. Ambassadors will also invite residents to Housing Meetings encouraging them to get involved in the effort. Additionally, a healthy housing information campaign will be started online. The YMCA is hoping with the help of its residents, positive change will come to our community.

For more information regarding Healthy Housing, email or call 732.442.3632 ext. 6506.

Perth Amboy residents- watch this to learn your rights as a renter!

Residentes de Perth Amboy: ¡miren este video para conocer sus derechos como inquilino!

Part 2: Your Rights as a Renter

Parte 2: Sus Derechos Como Inquilino

Watch this to learn some fire safety tips! 

¡Mira este video para aprender algunos consejos de seguridad contra incendios!


Support for this project was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In May of 2018, staff at Rutgers partnered with the Raritan Bay Area YMCA and the City of Perth Amboy Housing Department to submit a project proposal to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation under their Upstream Action Acceleration Program for New Jersey Health Initiatives. The project, titled “Community Action for Safe Housing” for the City of Perth Amboy sought to provide the City with policy and programmatic recommendations to address the prevalence and reduce the amount of substandard housing currently present in the City.

Healthier Perth Amboy sought to create direction, alignment and commitment among tenants, landlords, realtors, residents, elected and appointed local officials, law enforcement and fire officials, schools and health providers to advance the shared goal of providing all Perth Amboy residents, regardless of whether they are renters or homeowners, with housing that promotes sound health and well-being. To that end, this project looked to gather the above-listed individuals and form a Safe Housing Stakeholder Group to form a consensus on the project’s messaging, focus, and recommended actions moving forward.

The Rutgers University Bloustein School provided support to Healthier Perth Amboy as part of its safe housing initiative by providing technical assistance associated with benchmarking the City’s housing-related policies to “best practices” for promoting healthy housing. Rutgers’ role was to review existing City policies that have a direct or indirect relationship to housing, compare those existing policies to approaches considered healthy housing “best practices” across the U.S., and outline options for the consideration of the Healthier Perth Amboy’s leadership team. The policies reviewed by the Bloustein School included local ordinances, master plan elements, zoning code, and local decision-making processes. 

Community Action for Safe Housing Recommendations Report for Perth Amboy