Last night, the Rhode Island Foundation’s Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence honored the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Rhode Island (GHHI Rhode Island) for its leadership role in establishing the Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes (the Alliance). GHHI Rhode Island has been successful in bringing together a broad partnership of housing, health and energy providers from across the state to produce an integrated housing assessment and intervention delivery model that better serves low income families.
Sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BSBSRI), the award program recognizes outstanding practices by Rhode Island nonprofit organizations in the areas of advocacy, communication, innovation, leadership development and collaboration.
“We are grateful to our incredible partners in the Alliance for engaging in truly effective collaboration, and for the early and strong support the Rhode Island Foundation provided to the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative,” said Ruth Ann Norton, GHHI President and CEO. “We are honored to receive this recognition and proud of the work being done in Rhode Island. GHHI is proving the model of disciplined, thoughtful collaboration to be very effective in achieving positive outcomes for families. This work would not be possible without the support of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, GHHI’s incredible staff and all of our partners who together are lifting up housing as a platform for health.”
“This award recognizes the work of 500 individuals and more than 75 Rhode Island organizations that joined GHHI RI in establishing the Alliance,” said Betsy Stubblefield Loucks, Outcome Broker for GHHI Rhode Island, and manager for the Alliance. “The Alliance is a one-year old, cross-sectorial collaborative that aligns, braids and coordinates information, resources and services to improve the health, safety and energy efficiency of all Rhode Island homes.”
GHHI serves the Alliance as its operational backbone. The Alliance is governed by an Executive Steering Committee composed of the Office of Energy Resources, the RI Department of Health, the RI Department of Human Services, the Housing Resources Commission, Rhode Island Housing and the RI Attorney General’s Office. The Alliance achieves its mission through monthly meetings of four action teams: Policy, Data and Evaluation, Resource Coordination and Workforce Development. Each team is led by two community members, and has diverse membership including home health performance practitioners, advocates, policy-makers, public employees and educators. Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University professor Elizabeth Tobin-Tyler, whose work on lead poisoning among children in Rhode Island is well-known, chairs the Alliance.
“Navigating housing resources can be confusing and daunting for most families,” said Tobin-Tyler. “The Alliance addresses this problem from both sides: we coordinate services to help families achieve greener and healthier homes, and we work upstream to align, braid and coordinate local and state policies to promote green and healthy housing.”
Rhode Island’s urban housing stock is aged and deteriorated, and the State’s notoriously cold climate makes the increased energy efficiency and weatherization of low incomes homes an economic necessity. Publicly funded energy efficiency and weatherization assistance programs are hampered in their ability to most effectively assist low-income homeowners, because the houses at issue have unaddressed structural, health and safety needs that fall outside of program mandates, but must be addressed before energy efficiency and weatherization can take place.
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. Formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone housing intervention programs with an integrated, whole-house approach that produces sustainable green, healthy and safe homes. As a result, we are improving health, economic and social outcomes for families across the country. With support from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Energy (DOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council on Foundations and numerous philanthropic partners, GHHI serves as the national model for green and healthy homes interventions and is currently working in Austin, Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, Jackson, Lansing, Lewiston Auburn, Marin County, New Haven, Philadelphia, Providence, Salt Lake and San Antonio. Learn more at www.ghhi.org or follow us @HealthyHousing.
About the Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes
Launched in 2014, the Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes is a 75-organization coalition that aligns, braids and coordinates information, resources and services to improve the health, safety and energy efficiency of all Rhode Island homes. The Alliance is made possible through funding from the Rhode Island Foundation and the Attorney General’s office, and receives technical assistance from the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. The Alliance delivers the coordination of people and agencies, a process for effecting positive change and the tools to implement measurable solutions through existing infrastructure. Follow us at @RIHealthyHomes or facebook.com/rihealthyhomes.