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Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Among Top 100 Proposals for MacArthur Foundation $100 Million Grant


February 19, 2020

High-scoring 100&Change Applications Featured in Bold Solutions Network

Baltimore, MD – February 19, 2020 – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled that the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) was one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its prestigious 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges. GHHI’s proposed Healthy Homes for Equitable Opportunities: Ending Lead’s Toxic Legacy Project would utilize the $100 million in MacArthur Foundation funding to partner with Baltimore City, the State of Maryland and over 25 health, housing and workforce and community development partners in changing the trajectory of the next generation of Baltimore’s children by eradicating lead hazards and creating better opportunities for children in a number of the nation’s most at risk neighborhoods.

Lead poisoning has disproportionately impacted communities of color, yet Baltimore City, has shown the nation a path out of the stranglehold of lead poisoning – seeing a 99% reduction in childhood lead poisoning since 1993 due to health protective housing standards, strategic funding and strong enforcement. GHHI will leverage this historic $100 million investment to demonstrate at scale how a city and the nation can deliver on the promise of healthy and lead safe housing through investing in impacted communities to finally eliminate lead poisoning. GHHI will train and employ community residents as hazard reduction workers to complete lead hazard remediation in over 6,500 homes where young children reside, strengthening lead safe and fair housing systems and improving health, housing, educational, economic and social outcomes.

The Top 100 proposals selected were rigorously vetted, undergoing the MacArthur Foundation’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project. Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.

“The MacArthur Foundation’s investment is really an investment in equity for Baltimore’s children. By eliminating lead poisoning, this funding creates transformative improvements in health, academic, economic and social outcomes that change the lifelong trajectory of an entire generation of Baltimore’s children. MacArthur’s $100 million investment will generate $1.4 billion in economic return to Baltimore City and launch a lead poisoning prevention action model which, when scaled nationally, will protect a generation of children.” stated Ruth Ann Norton, President and CEO of GHHI. “Ending the toxic legacy of lead must be a top priority in the US for this entirely preventable disease. This investment represents a tipping point – where we move away from making smaller changes at the margins of a large problem, and toward a bold solution to end lead poisoning. This will be the national model of how investment from healthcare, community development, housing and philanthropy is aligned.”

“MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”

Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $419 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions. In addition to 100&Change, Lever for Change is managing the Chicago Prize, the Economic Opportunity Challenge, and the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award.

The Bold Solutions Network launched today, featuring GHHI as one of the Top 100 from 100&Change. The searchable online collection of submissions contains a project overview, 90-second video, and two-page factsheet for each proposal. Visitors can sort by subject, location, Sustainable Development Goal, or beneficiary population to view proposals based on area of interest. The Bold Solutions Network will showcase the highest-rated proposals that emerge from the competitions Lever for Change manages. Proposals in the Bold Solutions Network undergo extensive evaluation and due diligence to ensure each solution promises real and measurable progress to accelerate social change.

The Bold Solutions Network was designed to provide an innovative approach to identifying the most effective, enduring solutions aligned with donors’ philanthropic goals and to help top applicants gain visibility and funding from a wide array of funders. Organizations that are part of the Network will have continued access to a variety of technical support and learning opportunities focused on strengthening their proposals and increasing the impact of their work.

More About 100&Change: 100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change. 100&Change was designed to be fair, open, and transparent. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public. Applicants received comments and feedback from the peers, judges, and technical reviewers. Key issues in the competition are discussed in a blog on MacArthur’s website. Learn more at: 100&Change

In the inaugural round of 100&Change, Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee were awarded $100 million to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Syrian response region and to challenge the global system of humanitarian aid to focus more on building a foundation for future success for millions of young children.

For media inquiries about this Press Release, please contact GHHI President and CEO Ruth Ann Norton at 410-534-6477 or

To view GHHI’s video and read more about our proposed Healthy Homes for Equitable Opportunities: Ending Lead’s Toxic Legacy Project, go to: Healthy Homes for Equitable Opportunities: Ending Lead’s Toxic Legacy Project

About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative – The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. GHHI provides evidence-based direct services and technical assistance to create healthy, safe, and energy efficient homes that address the social determinants of health. GHHI’s goal is to improve health, economic, and social outcomes for low-income families especially communities of color and to advance racial and health equity in all policies and investments. To learn more, please visit and follow us @HealthyHousing.


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