Multi-Year Program to Address Occupant Health through Education and Electrification Implementation
LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2023) Los Angeles has one of the highest ratios of single-family homes in low income communities in the country with many of these homes in under-resourced neighborhoods being energy inefficient and burdening residents with higher utility costs and negative impacts on occupant health. To this end, the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) has partnered with the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) to launch Healthy Homes for Wilmington, bringing key interventions to the port-adjacent community of Wilmington in the City of Los Angeles, Council District 15. At its core this program will fill a current gap in market support and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for this community by providing four key interventions through a holistic and innovative platform: resident education and engagement, project and rebate support, installation of EV charging stations and energy efficient technologies for single family homes, and community partnerships.
“The vision of our programmatic work in Wilmington is to reduce utility costs and improve long-term occupant health, by addressing the need for education, resources and inclusion in programs that reduce energy and water use in communities such as Wilmington,” states USGBC-LA Executive Director Ben Stapleton. “If we can leverage funding from federal, state, and philanthropic resources to make investments at this critical moment, we can make our communities more resilient to withstand the increasing impacts of climate change.”
This program is centered on the harbor community of Wilmington where residents experience a disproportionate pollution burden from multiple sources of exposure due to incompatible land uses where residential areas are interspersed within an industrial zone. Those living in these homes experience cumulative impacts from exposure to pollution from sources such as high volume of diesel trucks idling and going through their neighborhoods, oil drilling sites, oil refineries, container storage yards, train traffic, and other industrial and port-related activities. The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation has been working in L,A’s harbor communities since 2011 in response to community concerns about the cumulative environmental exposures in the harbor area.
The Healthy Homes for Wilmington was developed by USGBC-LA in partnership with the HCBF and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), to leverage sound and established green building principles to increase energy-efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve indoor environmental health in single-family residences. This will be accomplished holistically through customized community engagement; education (in English/Spanish) – including information on the long-term returns of green building retrofits and what rebates and programs are available to assist them; and targeted resources for local single-family property residents and owners, that include low-to-no-cost installation of EV charging stations, heat pump water heating technology, and induction cooktop as an option for single-family homes looking to replace their natural gas ranges.
USGBC-LA is working with HCBF to leverage existing relationships with local community-based organizations in Wilmington with established trust among residents and local community members for community outreach support. These organizations have been successfully applying the “promotora model”, working with local community leaders that will be trained to help with a target of 60-80 single-family properties enrolled in the Healthy Homes for Wilmington program.
The Heathy Homes for Wilmington program has been incorporated into the USGBC-LA Green Homes LA initiative which includes a set of key housing programs, including the Green Affordable Housing Program (GAHP), launched in early 2022; and the Green Homes Committee – a community of experts that meets monthly to support and provide feedback on Green Homes LA programming, as well as discuss strategies to address the inequities of access to information, resources, and technology that can help people green their homes.
“LADWP is a proud funder of the USGBC-LA’s Green Affordable Housing program through LADWP’s Community Emission Reduction Grant (CERG) Program, and is delighted to hear about the expansion of their program,” said Katherine Rubin, LADWP CERG Program Manager and Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs Division. “LADWP takes great pride in knowing that the CERG program contributes to such excellent initiatives that will benefit the community. Innovative projects such as USGBC-LA’s that targets low income communities, conducts outreach with community members, and are committed to energy efficiency and occupant health will contribute to a greener and more sustainable future for LA.”
To learn more about the Healthy Homes for Wilmington, including to apply as a building, please click here, or contact Beryl Sinclair, email@example.com, or Dana P. Goland, M.S, HCBF Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org. To contribute to these programs in any way, or to inquire about providing any other funding support, please email email@example.com.
About Harbor Community Benefit Foundation
The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the local port-impacted communities by developing programs and projects in collaboration with funding entities to mitigate impacts, empower residents, and build resiliency in the communities adjacent to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach through grantmaking, education, and research.(www.hcbf.org)
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 non-profit and member-based organization whose mission is to transform Southern California’s built environment into a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable region for all. We lead by inspiring leaders throughout our communities to take action on climate change, public health, and environmental justice while educating, developing, and empowering a diverse talent pipeline through our training, mentorship, and direct-to-community programs. We connect by merging interdisciplinary perspectives and collaborations to create positive systemic change. We advocate through promoting innovative, impactful policy solutions addressing the most urgent environmental and social challenges of our time.(www.usgbc-la.org)