Innovative New Program Delivers Health and Energy Improvements to 18 Homes in Communities Facing Inequities

Top Quote Oakland-based nonprofit Build It Green’s (BIG) new program leverages funding sources to deliver energy and healthy home upgrades simultaneously to benefit California’s most vulnerable populations. End Quote
  • Oakland, CA (1888PressRelease) January 31, 2019 - Build It Green (BIG) is proud to announce that its innovative Healthy Home Connect Program has successfully expanded into new communities. Thanks to generous funding from Facebook, Inc., BIG has 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.

    BIG worked closely with their on-the-ground community partner, El Concilio of San Mateo County, a non-profit that offers critically needed comprehensive programs and services. El Concilio’s efforts are especially beneficial for workforce development as they provide valuable work experience for young people in the area, which enhances the region's economic stability and prosperity.

    “Safe, affordable, and healthy housing is foundational to enabling quality of life for individuals and families, especially vulnerable populations and children,” said Karin Burns, Executive Director of Build It Green.

    “At the same time, there is a strong link between health and energy efficiency in homes: energy upgrades often provide health co-benefits. That’s what makes Healthy Home Connect’s approach so unique. It can help communities simultaneously address the affordable housing crisis, the climate crisis, and the public health issues that affect thousands of individuals and families in communities facing inequities,” explained Burns.

    Housing services for communities facing inequities are often siloed and delivered inefficiently. Energy efficiency and weatherization programs do not address home health conditions, which are often closely related. Furthermore, many homes are disqualified from receiving energy efficiency and solar PV improvements because of existing conditions in the home, such as mold, moisture, unsafe HVAC systems leaking carbon monoxide, or dilapidated roofs.

    The result is that some of the most vulnerable families are left behind and must live in homes that exacerbate asthma and other health conditions, as well as homes that are inefficient with high utility bills, contributing to displacement and the affordable housing crisis.

    Healthy Home Connect addresses this problem by combining public funding sources with private philanthropy, and delivering programs simultaneously. BIG also works closely with their local, like-minded partner El Concilio, to establish relationships and trust with the community and help fulfill the work and mission of the Program.

    “We at El Concilio are committed to providing the best services possible to the community through programs that support people to create better futures for themselves and their families. We are proud that our partnership with BIG helped facilitate healthier and energy-efficient homes to those who would otherwise experience great afflictions,” said Ortensia Lopez, Executive Director at El Concilio.

    About Build It Green
    Build It Green is a nonprofit with a mission to help professionals adopt green practices and grow the market for efficient, healthy homes. Our pioneering work is transforming how homes are built and renovated in California and beyond. Learn more at

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