Health and Home Problems Arise

Belle Haven resident Julia Douglas, 73, is now enjoying her home improvements that have drastically changed her and her family’s life—and health—for the better.

Douglas was approached by El-Concilio of San Mateo County when the Healthy Home Connect (HHC) program learned there were three generations living under one roof, a roof that was severely damaged and leaking rainwater into the home. “The rain was dripping into the house. It was terrible, but now I’m holding on. The HHC program has been a godsend to my family,” said Douglas.

Douglas has lived in her Belle Haven home for the last 40 years and worked in her career for about 30 years until a coronary artery bypass surgery forced her to go into medical retirement.

Douglas had been suffering from sinus issues, asthma, colds, in addition to dealing with hypertension and sciatic nerve issues after the surgery. “I had never had asthma before,” said Douglas, who lives with her granddaughter, 12, and daughter, 47.

“My daughter and granddaughter both have been suffering from sinus and asthma, it has even caused my granddaughter to miss school. We’ve had to pick her up from school due to the asthma attacks,” said Douglas.

The family was not sure what was causing their health issues, and although Douglas realized her home needed improvements she was unable to provide the updates on her fixed income. “I couldn’t get a lot done on my own. Finding the Healthy Home Connect program gave me encouragement in life, and it gave me a big lift in my life! I really am so grateful for the program,” said Douglas.

The home was inspected and assessed using Hayward Score pre-intervention. The home scored 13 out of 100 (very poor) on the Hayward Score scale, the lowest of the 18 homes helped in the HHC program so far.

Hayward Score uses information about climate, attributes, conditions, and behaviors to assess the “health” of the home. This web-based tool provides users not only with a score for their home, but also a personalized set of actions they can take to start improving the health of their home immediately. Hayward Score’s detailed survey questions and proprietary algorithms can achieve the same level of accuracy as expensive in-home assessments.

Gloria Flores-Garcia with El-Concilio of San Mateo County helped BIG with the outreach to the participants of HHC. She is very pleased to see the changes the program has made in people’s lives. “To be involved in HHC and to hear Ms. Douglas say that it lifted her spirits, it’s just so wonderful. The health and social services they’re getting is what I love to do,” said Garcia.

Benefits to the Family

When asked what she looks forward to now Douglas said she is excited to have a healthier future. “Now I am just looking forward to the rest of my days, I want to see my granddaughter who’s in the 7th grade, graduate from high school and go to college and I want us all to have a healthy, happy home,” said Douglas.

After all the home improvements, new flooring, weather stripping, the new roof installed and other energy improvements Douglas and her family are reporting better health and saving money on their energy bills.

The home was rescored 6 months post-intervention again using Hayward Score. The result was a 63, a significant improvement over the previous score of 13.

Now the family is enjoying improved indoor air quality, more thermal comfort, with fewer asthma attacks, and fewer colds and flus.

“I can breathe so much better. I appreciate my new roof, I would be swimming in a river, Lord knows what else! I don’t know where I would have turned,” said Douglas.

Douglas would recommend the HHC program to anyone who is looking for help. “There’s a lot of people like myself. I’m just so grateful to HHC and I’m sure there are many others that can benefit from a program like this too.”

Home Improvements Paid for by HHC:

  • Major envelope repair
  • Weather stripping
  • Foam utility gaskets
  • Carbon monoxide safety testing
  • ED light bulb replacement
  • Plumbing repair
  • Ceiling fans
  • Energy recovery ventilation (ERV)
  • New vinyl flooring throughout
  • Door replacement
  • Water heater flue repair
  • Sealed crawlspace
  • Remove existing flat roofing AND rear sloped shingle section
  • New plywood at flat
  • New 80-MIL IB PVC mechanically attached roof
  • New metal coping at perimeter
  • New tile and mortar work at front tie-in
  • Minor tile maintenance to replace existing broken tiles
  • New shingles at rear sloped section
  • Solar electric system

Estimated Savings:

  • Utility bill reduction: $2,500/year
  • Estimated energy use reduction: 10,000 kWhs/year

Family Health Benefits:

  • Fewer asthma attacks
  • Fewer colds and flus

Home Benefits:

  • Indoor air quality improved
  • Reduced indoor moisture; lower mold risk

Environmental Benefits:

  • 2 metric ton carbon emissions saved
  • 15% reduction in energy usage

Estimated cost: $30,860.00

Cost to homeowner: $0

What is Healthy Home Connect

Healthy Home Connect (HHC) is Build It Green’s (BIG) innovative new program leveraging multiple funding sources to deliver energy and healthy home upgrades simultaneously to benefit California’s most vulnerable populations. BIG has recently delivered health and energy upgrades to 18 homes and families faced with hardships in the Belle Haven community—homes that would otherwise not fully benefit from existing energy efficiency programs because they needed more basic repairs first. Learn more about HHC here.

What is Hayward Score

Hayward Score identifies unhealthy conditions in the home. This patent-pending, web-enabled tool, built by the best minds in the healthy homes industry provides a survey, home score, and a customized set of recommendations outlining steps to improve the health and safety of the home. Hayward Score’s targeted survey questions and refined algorithms typically achieve the same level of accuracy as expensive indoor air quality testing. Learn More about Hayward Score here.

What is El Concilio of San Mateo County

El Concilo of San Mateo County (ECSMC) mission is to empower diverse communities in California’s Central Valley. Their vision is to serve the whole community in order to help people realize their greatest potential by offering critically needed comprehensive and compassionate programs and services that provide outreach, education, counseling, as well as awareness of their personal strengths and abilities, and the knowledge of resources available to them. Learn More about El Concilio here.

What is Maverick Green Energy Solar

Maverick is a consulting firm on a mission to educate and help communities go green. With rigorously vetting and only partnering with experienced yet honest local installers who are unwilling to cut corners, Maverick ensures you get the service and integrity you deserve while never losing that personal touch and accountability of a small, community-oriented business. Learn More about Maverick Green Energy Solar here.

Alex Coba

Communications Associate

As a proud California native from Stockton, Alex brings a wealth of experience and a versatile skill set. He has a solid communication background with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Chico. Alex is adept at strategic communications and media relations, with experience gathering and sharing stories from his local communities that uplift the unique spirit and values of those places. He is excited to join Build It Green, where he can apply his talents to further BIG’s mission to help communities across California thrive.