Climate change is increasing the incidence of extreme heat events in our cities and disproportionately affecting the health of people who are disadvantaged or socially marginalised. Community-based and social service organisations work closely with those most vulnerable to these impacts. However, these organisations are not specifically resourced to plan for and respond to extreme weather events, particularly heat.
The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) launched the Hotspots Initiative in October 2018 supporting three pilot projects in Dandenong (enliven PCP), Brimbank (IPC Health) and inner Melbourne public housing estates (cohealth). Each project led by a community service and health organisation (CSHO) brings together diverse project partners to develop local cross-sector responses to the health impacts of heatwaves. These impacts are disproportionately felt by those experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation.
The Exchange was engaged by LMCF to evaluate this program which ran over the summers of 2018/19 and 2019/20. The Evaluation Report was informed by a literature review of existing best-practice and learnings for place-based heat health initiatives.