HomeFree Receives Funding to Expand its Pioneering Work

Billy Weber | July 2018 | Newsletter

The JPB Foundation has awarded Healthy Building Network funding to continue and expand the work of our pioneering HomeFree initiative, which improves the health of marginalized communities by advancing and accelerating the adoption of healthier materials in affordable housing. HomeFree connects the dots between the toxics in our built environment and human health implications – like asthma, developmental delays, cancer, and more. This funding will allow us to build capacity through new educational options, co-create actionable solutions with our regional and national partners, and scale our impact.

New partnerships are already at work

National, cross-sector partnerships will scale our impact, amplifying capacity-building goals and increasing the use of healthier building materials in affordable housing. We recently launched the first such partnership with the Housing Partnership Network (HPN) and HPN Select. This initiative brings HBN’s chemical hazards expertise to the HPN Select procurement platform, informing users about healthier building materials at the point of purchase.

Co-creating Valuable Solutions

Choosing healthier building materials for affordable housing can make a tangible difference in the health of our communities. Though all people are impacted, low-wealth communities are disproportionately exposed to chemical hazards on the job, in their neighborhoods, and within their homes. Today’s buildings contain many different chemicals of concern, which can impact health as much as the food we eat, the water we drink, or the air we breathe.

Through HomeFree, HBN staff and our regional partners have engaged to shape a solution to these challenges. Together, we’ve:

  • worked on demonstration projects that test and model best practices and identify superior products;
  • created resources for eight product categories, with recommendations for healthier options and tips on what to avoid;
  • developed hazard spectrums for these categories, with simple stoplight charts to help providers choose healthier materials one step at a time; and
  • maximized benefit to residents and other vulnerable populations by focusing first on products commonly used in dwelling units.

Visit HomeFree today to learn more, see recent hazard spectrum updates for paint and flooring products, and receive  general specification guidance.