Building a Healthy Neighborhood
Building a Healthy Neighborhood is a program that brings together our strategic community approach of Community Revitalization Partnership and our core practice model: Safe and Healthy Housing model.
Through Building a Healthy Neighborhood, Rebuilding Together affiliates make a minimum commitment of two years to focus the delivery of safe and healthy repairs to homes and/or community facilities in a target neighborhood or area. Affiliates complete a community needs assessment to make strategic decisions about neighborhood selection based on other investments, collaborative partners and neighborhood conditions. Affiliates also build collaborative partnerships with other neighborhood organizations and government entities, positioning themselves as part of the community development continuum. Affiliates can also apply for capacity building grants from our national office to strengthen their ability to build local coalitions, plan joint events, and make strategic decisions about the use of resources to maximize impact in targeted neighborhoods.
When natural disasters strike, Rebuilding Together provides recovery support to help families and communities rebuild their homes and lives. Since 2005, Rebuilding Together has rebuilt over 1,500 homes in disaster impacted areas. As a member of the National Association of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, we work side-by-side with members of affected communities and in partnership with local and national disaster response and recovery organizations to help families return home.
Many of the communities we work in lack the necessary infrastructure and resources to prepare and recover from natural disasters. Housing in these communities is also more likely to be substandard, older and in need of maintenance. Additionally, low-income families are unlikely to have any or adequate flood insurance. For example, analysis of FEMA data by The Washington Post showed that only 17% of families in the eight counties most affected by Hurricane Harvey held flood insurance policies. Our typical clients are low-income owners who do not have sufficient insurance to fully cover the cost of needed repairs. Given the significance of disasters in our affiliates’ communities and our logical role in home repair and rehab, we launched Disaster Recovery as a national program.
Safe at Home
At Rebuilding Together, we believe that older adults should be able to remain safe, healthy and independent in their own homes and communities. According to AARP, nearly 90% of older adults would prefer to stay in their current homes as long as possible. Aging in place is also widely understood to be more cost-effective than nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Yet most of the existing housing stock in the United States is not designed to accommodate the physical and cognitive changes that come with age. Paying for home modifications is often a financial burden for older adults living on fixed, limited incomes – particularly the lowest-income seniors – who tend to have higher rates of disability and live in older houses. Our Safe at Home program incorporates several key elements, including:
* Falls reduction interventions that minimize the risk of falls in the home
* Home modifications that address the safety and quality of life for the residents
* Fire prevention strategies that reduce the risk of home fires
Rebuilding Together’s She Builds program features community revitalization projects that create real change for women. She Builds provides critical home repairs to women in need and revitalizes community centers providing services to women and their families. The event series includes home repair trainings to give women the confidence and skills to maintain safe and healthy homes. According to the National Women's Law Center, more than one in seven women and more than one in five children live in poverty. More than half of those children live in families headed by women, and most don’t have a spouse’s income to rely on to support their family. Together we can increase the health and safety of their homes, and empower women to become change makers in their communities.