Energy Efficiency + Health: Better Buildings Partners Collaborate on Housing for Health Fund

Housing retrofit projects that improve energy efficiency can also improve the health of occupants while reducing waste and operating costs. Three Better Buildings partners, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), Kaiser Permanente, and Enterprise Community Partners, have teamed up with the City of Oakland, California’s Housing Department for a new venture called the “Housing for Health Fund,” which promotes healthy communities through energy efficiency.

Through this program, qualified developers such as EBALDC preserve homes that support healthy communities. Developers are tasked with implementing low-cost and high-impact energy-efficiency retrofit measures while administering Health Action Plans to identify health gaps in housing and surrounding communities. Kaiser Permanente has invested $15 million into the Housing for Health Fund and will match up to $35 million in additional funds to be raised by Enterprise. The fund will serve more than a dozen Bay Area counties, with half of the capital designated to promote health and preserve affordable homes in Oakland. Developers will also conduct annual resident surveys to assess health outcomes.                                                                                                                                                                                       

EBALDC has purchased Kensington Gardens, a 41-unit apartment building in the Fruitvale neighborhood of East Oakland, using $5.2 million in joint-equity funding from the Housing for Health Fund. This is a first step for the partnership to improve local resident health and quality of life. EBALDC will own and operate the property and will use a portion of these funds to implement energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and “healthy home” upgrades. This new asset will add to its existing portfolio of 21 properties and more than 1,000 affordable housing units.

Explore more resources around the relationship between health and energy efficiency on the Better Buildings Solution Center.