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25 March 2022

Interview with Henrik Kluck (Rochdale) and Judith Bremer (Barton)

In recent years, the concentration of people at risk in the social rental sector has increased significantly. Oftentimes, residents have to deal with poverty or mental or physical health problems. Not only municipalities, but also housing associations can contribute to a healthy living condition. Henrike Klok, formerly at-risk tenants of Roerganger in Rochdale and Judith Bremmer, consultant at Parteon, have shown how they are dealing with this within the framework of the Zaanstad Health Protection Agreement. “The company sticks to its core mission, but defines, connects, and enters into partnerships.”

Many parties are working hand in hand with the Zans Prevention Agreement to help residents make healthy choices. The municipality of Zanstad joined with ZMCGGD, General Practitioners, Zilveren Kruis, The Sports Company, De Zaanse Uitdaging and the housing companies Parteon and Rochdale. “At first we wondered if we should be involved in this,” Kluck admits. “As a company, we don’t have an immediate mission when it comes to health. But we also see that in some neighborhoods relatively many people live in poor health. They live less than residents of other neighborhoods.” Bremer: This is mainly about our tenants. In those neighbourhoods, such as Poelenburg Peldersveld, there is an enormous challenge in terms of healthy living and living. That is why it is good to sit around the table with several partners. This gives us a better idea of ​​what is going on and how you can implement this broad ban together.” So both companies decided to join the Zaanse ban agreement. “By participating, we are also showing our commitment to the neighborhood and the residents.” Living well in a healthy living environment.”

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By tackling the problem of smoking, weight gain and alcohol abuse, the signatories to the ban want to help improve the health of the people of Zaandam. They seek each other for good cooperation and good referrals. Because every organization has its own role and experience. “We are in the neighborhoods and we have a signaling role,” Bremer says: “We also have this role towards other parties. Instead of describing what the residents should do, it is very important to encourage people to behave differently. For example, by changing The layout of an apartment complex, public space or neighborhood Think about making stairs more accessible, preventing them from becoming a place for smoking, etc. By designing such a place differently, you are also raising awareness among residents. Environmental law and planning will help us too in it, because it forces us to organize the living environment more coherently.”

Much attention is paid to the vitality of the employees. Consider fitness allowance and encourage use of the Ommetje App during lockdowns. “However, there is a kind of reluctance to shift the same interest to our tenants,” Kluck says. “Can you, as a company, go that far? Someone suggested that you should not only give your employees a discount on a fitness subscription, but also your tenants. But is that allowed? And do you want that as a company? And are you discussing his health or his unhealthy behavior? With the tenant? From the shared responsibility of the people in a neighborhood, and from the realization that the life expectancy of people in a neighborhood is much lower, we must also ask ourselves: Why not do it, if we can do it?

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Bremer noted that a kind of “momentum” appears to be on the way in which the role of the company in relation to the social status of the population becomes more important again. “From an area development standpoint, we are increasingly looking at the potential and opportunities for residents who can contribute to the neighborhood. For many people, this leads directly to meaningful daytime activities, the feeling of being useful, and therefore better well-being. These fixtures are worth gold.” The watch agrees. “We’re already taking that on more and more. With the question: “Can we as a company do this?” The conviction: “The institution certainly has a role in this.” We are now also looking to collaborate with partners much more than ten years ago. The company adheres to its core mission, but defines, connects and enters into partnerships. From the idea: What can we do here, without taking on too many roles and tasks ourselves, and thus having to do a lot of extras. This way you stay out of discussions about core missions and financing, because as a company you can make good use of your network. “

Marjolin Botsma Ben Kade, health knowledge specialist in the municipality of Zaanstad
“We’re all puzzles about healthy living. Everyone contributes a little bit, but together you have to look at how they fit together. If there’s a missing piece, you’re missing that in that puzzle as well. I think that’s a great way to look at the approach to health. That’s where It is in him the role of the municipality, to take charge of this puzzle. This does not mean that we control all the leads. If a partner wants to chair a meeting, they are welcome. This way they can show the topics they find important. You can call this integrated work. A lot is already happening, but This is not always known.

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At the moment, we also pay attention to preventing falls. there is the GGD jars; But we also see housing associations playing a role. For example, is the house barrier-free? But also: Where can older residents practice climbing stairs? We are also looking at how we can work together in providing information about healthy nutrition and how we can encourage adequate exercise.

As a municipality, we are pleased to have partners with housing associations that embrace healthy living environment as a primary business. The role of signage for companies is very beautiful. From there, collaboration with social area teams can also be enhanced, so that the signals end in the right place. We want to prevent the establishment with its signals from becoming a voice in the desert. I think that’s the biggest challenge in Zanstad.”

“A lot of valuable things are happening in Zaanstad, led by the municipality,” says Kluck. “Judith and I often meet each other in different meetings. We often have the same conversation in different places. The challenge is to find the connection between all the initiatives. In Poelenburg, “Health” has been a pillar under the “Pact Poelenburg” program for some time now. It will be It’s good to tie what is needed in neighborhoods to the ban agreement. Health is one of the topics here. Just like education, work and living. I would advocate an integrated approach and start in neighborhoods where opportunities for people – also when it comes to health – are under stress.”

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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