The problem: Funding to help low-income families address home health hazards is often scarce, fragmented, or difficult to access. For example, low-income energy efficiency programs touch thousands of homes each year, providing LED light bulbs, insulation, and other repairs and replacements. But these siloed programs don’t pay to fix health and safety hazards, and many homes are disqualified because of problems like dilapidated roofs or mold and moisture problems.
The solution: What if the energy efficiency contractors who visit thousands of homes for could address health and safety issues at the same time? That’s one of the core ideas behind Healthy Home Connect: to leverage siloed funding sources to multiply their impact. When we connect private philanthropy with federal, state, and local government assistance programs, we can deliver more comprehensive and FREE renovations to thousands of homes. We can help struggling families to overcome health issues, save energy to fight climate change, and make housing more affordable—all at the same time!
TIn 2017-2018, corporations and individual donors have a unique opportunity to invest in the health and sustainability of low-income communities through Healthy Home Connect. The nonprofit Build It Green is already working to upgrade more than 5,500 homes in California’s most disadvantaged communities. BIG is the program administrator for the newly updated Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP), which will invest $26.8 million in State of California funding to deliver energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homes in the Bay Area and metropolitan Los Angeles region.
BIG seeks to combine LIWP funding with $4.8 million in gap funding from philanthropic partners. That means every $1 invested in Healthy Home Connect will leverage $3 in existing funding that is already available to help low-income families. By combining every available funding source, public or private, we can provide the most comprehensive health and energy renovations possible in each home. We can help struggling, low-income communities become more sustainable, healthy, and affordable at the same time.
Did You Know
40% of asthma episodes are caused by unhealthy conditions in a home.
Lead poisoning affects an estimated 535,000 U.S. children (age 6 or younger) each year.
Mice, rats, cockroaches and even dust mites leave feces or urine that when breathed in can trigger asthma attacks and other health problems.
Mold & Moisture
Leaky roofs, damp basements, and a lack of ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens can lead to unhealthy moisture and mold growth—making people sick and triggering asthma episodes.
Homes built before 1978 typically have lead paint. Lead is a neurotoxin and lead poisoning in young children can lead to irreversible behavioral problems and developmental delays.
Dust & Allergens
Dust, dirt and allergens trapped in older carpet or circulated through leaky heating and cooling ducts can harm indoor air quality and impact peoples’ health.
Older homes with no insulation and antiquated heating and cooling systems waste energy and cause sky-high utility bills for low-income residents; higher monthly housing costs increase the risk of eviction or foreclosure.
To learn more about Healthy Home Connect or to inquire about partnership opportunities, contact Karin Burns, Build It Green Executive Director.