LISC National
Our Work

Healthy Housing


In an effort to improve the quality of affordable housing in rural communities across the country, Rural LISC, in partnership with the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, launched the Healthy Housing Initiative in 2015, offering critical funding for housing‐related programs and projects to partner community-based organizations serving rural communities across the country.  Now in its third year, the Rural LISC Wells Fargo Healthy Housing Initiative has awarded more than $1.3 million to approximately 40 rural community-based organizations in 20 states. This year, Rural LISC will award 30 grants to Partners who seek to improve housing stock in their communities in a variety of ways, including new construction, rehabilitation, energy efficient appliances, low VOC paint, implementing community gardens and transitioning to smoke-free housing.

Healthy Housing Initiative grants support a range of activities, including new construction, rehabilitation, Energy Efficient appliances, low VOC paint, community gardens, walkability and more.

“Our Healthy Housing Initiative represents a strong commitment to rural neighborhoods across the country and the importance we place on quality housing.”
— Suzanne Anarde, Rural LISC Vice President

Rural LISC works with its local partners to ensure that all new housing is built following healthy housing principles, and that existing homes are assessed and improved. “Healthy housing” is defined as incorporating strategies such as:

  • New housing that is energy efficient with good indoor air quality and low water utilization.
  • Assessing current housing conditions and incorporating improvements into the rehab scope. Issues may include mold, water infiltration, indoor air quality, lead paint and other environmental hazards
  • Using low VOC paints and adhesives, and durable, hard surface flooring rather than carpet.
  • Developing walkable communities.
  • Incorporating community gardens for growing food and providing for outdoor recreational activities at multi‐family complexes.
  • Healthy management practices including integrated pest management, non‐toxic cleaning supplies and encouragement of non‐smoking communities.
“Our mission is to provide sustainable homeownership opportunities for people all across the country, and support for the Healthy Housing Initiative complements this mission...”
— Connie Wright, Vice President and Assistant Director, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation

Developing and preserving safe, decent and affordable housing has always been at the core of Rural LISC’s community development values, and it is the cornerstone of the organization’s Comprehensive Community Development model. Rural LISC helps partners revitalize their rural communities comprehensively, integrating housing and other physical redevelopment with improvements in access to education, health care and economic opportunity.

Healthy Housing funding is enabling partner Self-Help Enterprises to make substantial improvements to North Park Apartments, a low-income rental housing community in California's San Joaquin Valley.
Healthy Housing funding is enabling partner Self-Help Enterprises to make substantial improvements to North Park Apartments, a low-income rental housing community in California's San Joaquin Valley.