Creating a housing system that is good for California's people communities environment

California is a state where dreaming big is a mindset, and we have  no shortage of incredible changemakers dedicated to tackling urgent and prominent housing issues. Yet, due to the siloed nature of our work, our collective progress is far too slow to meet the challenges and opportunities we face.

Build It Green believes housing changemakers will never meet the challenges of the moment working in siloes. Only by joining forces to tackle the pressing issues of housing affordability, equity, and climate change can we make real progress together. To that end, we have created Building Our Future, a collaborative space for knowledge sharing and solutions-oriented brainstorming for all housing doers, thinkers and innovators.

Meetings and Working Group Launch

Last December, Build It Green held two virtual meetings, bringing together nearly 100 changemakers in California housing. We challenged participants to think aspirationally as they shared their insights and wrestled with what it will take to achieve a housing system that supports affordability, equity, and environmental goals.

We were floored and gratified by the powerful insights that surfaced during these meetings. To build on our shared progress, four working groups focused on equitable decarbonization, construction innovation, the infrastructure opportunity, and policy as an accelerant are continuing the conversation. Each group and its members are dedicated to driving meaningful, intersectional change in their respective areas.

Reporting Out

In just a few short months of activity, these cross-sector working groups have been tackling major challenges in California housing. Some have compiled key insights and information into sharable resources, while others have hosted dialogue sessions to spark conversation around innovative ideas and approaches.

Their early work serves as a great starting point and speaks to the promising work to come. Check it out below!

Reporting Out: Infrastructure Principles and Aspirations

During this unique infusion of federal and state funding for infrastructure projects, the Infrastructure Opportunity Working Group sees an opportunity to build and maintain infrastructure in ways that promote equitable, climate-conscious, and community-centered housing development without sprawl. The ‘Infrastructure and California’s Communities Principles’ are a result of the working group’s collective efforts to guide its next phase of work and to help articulate aspirations for everyone involved in California infrastructure issues.

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Reporting Out: Policy and Infrastructure Opportunities

Build It Green has been convening a cross-sector group of leaders in California’s housing sector since our Building Our Future kick-off meetings last year. Below is a list of immediate opportunities/actions a few Policy as an Accelerant and Infrastructure Opportunity Working Groups’ participants wish to share regarding the intersection of infrastructure and affordable, equitable, environmentally friendly homes and neighborhoods.

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Header image: courtesy of Eric Sehr via Flickr.