Thanks to the Healthy Home Connect (HHC) program Shirley Morris, 82, and her family received FREE energy and health upgrades to their home. The Program addressed their safety concerns by adding handrails, and other health and energy improvements such as new laminate flooring.

Beverly Morris, 62, grew up in Belle Haven with her mother Shirley Morris, 82. She has very fond memories of her childhood home. “It’s a cozy house with 3 bedrooms and one bath. But now, almost 60 years later, the home is very old and trying to keep up with repairs and with my elderly mother living in the house was difficult, it was getting harder and harder for her to get around like she used to,” said Beverly.

Beverly works in the San Francisco Bay Area for Google as a driver and works long hours, she lives in the South Bay and instead of commuting from the South Bay back and forth she decided to stay during the week in Belle Haven, which also gives her a chance to help with her elderly mother, who lives full-time in the home on a fixed income.

It was increasingly difficult to maintain her mother’s household as a safe place, juggling working full time, and life at home in the South Bay. The Morris’ needed a program to help out and step in to assess what safety updates and healthy home updates were needed.

”We can breathe better [in the home], and feel safer, we are so pleased that we found Healthy Home Connect!“

–Beverly Morris

That’s when the Morris’ found Build It Green’s new program, Healthy Home Connect (HHC) which is changing lives with much-needed home upgrades in the Belle Haven community, homes that would otherwise not fully benefit from existing energy efficiency programs because they needed more basic repairs first.

The Morris’ were put in contact with the Program’s participating contractor and together they started to address the health and safety issues in the home.

The home was inspected and assessed using the Hayward Score pre-intervention. The home scored 41 out of 100 on the Hayward scale.

The Hayward Score uses information about the 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.

Work was done to fix the downspouts, which were damaging the foundation of the home and could potentially cause a big mold problem. Some mold damage was already showing in parts of the home. “There was a lot of mold they needed to treat, my mom is still pretty feisty at 82, but she had been showing some signs of breathing problems. They also fixed cracks in the walls which I’m sure had a negative impact on our health,” said Beverly Morris.

The home was rescored 6 months post-intervention again using Hayward Score. The result was a 70, a significant improvement from the previous score of 41.

“The work the contractors did was great. They tore out the old carpet and we had the floors done with laminate flooring. For my elderly mother, they installed handrails, which is great, now I don’t worry about her walking around, it was very dangerous,” said Beverly.

Now Beverly feels assured that her mother is safer in the home, not only from an accessibility standpoint by adding the handrails, but also they are now safer from the hidden health dangers in the home such as mold. Elderly can be very susceptible to the health dangers of prolonged exposure to excessive damp and moldy environments and it may cause a variety of health effects.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that we found the HHC program. We are more comfortable in the home, we can breathe better, and feel safer,” said Beverly.

Home Improvements Paid for by HHC:

Estimated Savings:

  • Utility bill reduction: $800/year 
  • Estimated energy use reduction: 4,000 kWhs/year

Family Health Benefits:

  • Safer for basic daily activities
  • Fewer colds and flus 

Home Benefits:

  • 1 metric ton carbon emissions saved
  • 5% reduction in energy use

Environmental Benefits:

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

Estimated cost: $1,800

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.