Key Points

· This article describes a successful collaboration among foundation, city government, and nonprofit stakeholders that leveraged an initial investment of $60,000 to $4.5 million in public and private funding to create a sustainable Green & Healthy Homes Initiative™ for low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Providence, R.I.

· Through a partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation, the Council on Foundations, and the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, the city of Providence developed a comprehensive approach to integrated health, safety, lead-hazard reduction, energy-efficiency, and weatherization interventions for low- and moderate-income families.

· The project was led by a steering committee of more than 30 city, state, and nonprofit organizations and agencies committed to upgrading 125 Providence housing units by the end of 2012.

· Accomplishments of this project include newly trained minority contractors to perform weatherization; healthy homes and lead-hazard control work; resident educators to deliver health, safety, and energy-efficiency education to participating households; and an electronic data-collection system. In addition, all participants in the project are committed to comprehensive program evaluation.

· Collaborative practices that led to program success, include the use of an intermediary organization, the decisions behind the composition of the steering committee, and how partners used “braided” resources to create green and healthy housing units. Challenges around project management and interagency communication as well as lessons learned to improve replicability in other locales are also discussed.

Open Access