Affordable Housing Sector Is Advancing Healthier Materials for All

Billy Weber | November 2018 | Newsletter

Healthy Building Network is excited to announce our new partnership with Housing Partnership Network (HPN) and its procurement platform, HPN Select. Our aim is to leverage our combined strengths and expertise to make affordable housing environments healthier for residents and for the practitioners who build and maintain them.

By merging the power of the Select marketplace with HBN’s research and our HomeFree initiative’s in-depth information about the health impacts of building materials, we’ll increase our capacity to shape innovative solutions and encourage the adoption of healthier materials throughout the affordable housing sector. This, in turn, will create solutions for everyone—not just those with financial means.

HPN Select is a strategic purchasing alliance that offers streamlined procurement so members can focus on their core missions. It adds value and capacity by providing customized procurement strategies and a dynamic portfolio of discounted products and services. In a survey of shareholder employees, over 60% of respondents said they liked learning about healthy building materials through the Select platform.

HBN’s HomeFree is a national initiative that supports affordable housing leaders and their teams by helping them learn about healthier and cost-competitive options to reduce hazardous chemicals in building products. Moving forward, HPN Select’s members will find HomeFree insights and solutions on HPN’s Select EcoGuide platform.

“It’s truly energizing to bring HBN’s expertise to Select’s members, not only expanding our understanding of why healthier materials are an important component of our missions, but also our ability to make different choices right out of the gate,” said Mark Vernon, president of HPN Select. “Combining the collective impact of Select’s members with HBN’s perspective on how we can positively change our environment is a powerful step toward healthier buildings, residents, and communities.”

Our partnership will build health equity through greater awareness and access.

A major hurdle for affordable housing operators, developers, and their design and construction teams is access to reliable and simple information about appropriate products and approaches for constructing new developments and maintaining existing properties. Our partnership will directly address this barrier.

It will also give action to our shared goals of:

  • Improving the health of marginalized communities.
  • Building capacity within the affordable housing community.
  • Advancing current procurement systems.
  • Replacing the common materials used in housing developments with healthier alternatives.
  • Driving innovation that ultimately improves health for everyone.

By working together and across the affordable housing community, we will grow engagement for both HomeFree and HPN Select. We’ll raise awareness of issues related to chemical hazard exposures and increase our capacity to shape solutions that encourage the adoption of healthier materials. Through the EcoGuide platform, we’ll connect providers to market-based information and healthier product options.

“This is an opportunity to grow and scale access to healthier materials,” noted Gina Ciganik, CEO of HBN. “Working with the affordable housing community is core to HBN’s values and mission, and it leads to solutions that work for everyone. Health equity guides our work with Housing Partnership Network.”

Our joint work will support a virtuous cycle of innovation and growth, which will in turn benefit affordable housing practitioners, residents, and others.