We are supporting communities by helping to make our built environment healthier for all.
CLF’s mission has long been to create a healthy and thriving New England for all. Achieving that mission means looking at the “environment” as more than one’s natural surroundings. The environment also encompasses the built spaces where we all live, work, play, learn, and worship.
The harms that can arise from that “built environment” – and their impacts on our health – are many. Resilience to climate change impacts, safety from toxic hazards like lead and mold, affordable and stable housing, access to healthy and affordable food – these factors and more affect individual health. Collectively, they can add up to greater burdens community-wide, especially for low-income and communities of color.
For CLF, the solutions to help make our neighborhoods healthier include:
- leading efforts to ensure homes and schools are free of such toxins as lead paint and pipes;
- making homes and neighborhoods resilient to climate impacts, such as reinforcing them against flooding and providing tree cover and green space to cool increasingly hot urban areas;
- improving access to healthy and affordable food, especially in city neighborhoods;
- investing in developments priced for low-income and working-class families close to open space, healthy food, and public transit;
- supporting small businesses and nonprofits to grow and thrive; and
- partnering with residents to collect on-the-ground data to determine what matters most for health in their communities.
This work builds on CLF’s core strengths, from legislative advocacy to legal watchdog. But it also lets the organization flex newer muscles, including our groundbreaking community-based research and innovative social investment strategies in equitable, low-carbon housing and health-promoting retail businesses.
An affordable block of healthy homes can lead to a healthier neighborhood, which in turn can anchor an entire community – and help create a healthier and more thriving New England for all.