Non-profit Home Rehab Organization Improves Accessibility, Safety and Health

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 —PRNewswire-USNewswire – Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that rehabilitates homes for low-income homeowners, announced that Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies has published a working paper which found significant improvements in health and safety, improvements in accessibility, and energy use for those served by the Rebuilding Together affiliate network.

"Looking at some key demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of homeowners served by Rebuilding Together, it is clear that this organization serves a distinct homeowner population, one who would not otherwise be able to undertake much in the way of home improvement and repair," said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

"Harvard's study validates the critical work that Rebuilding Together's affiliate network and many of our nonprofit partners are delivering every day to make homes safe and healthy for our nation's lower income families, veterans who have served their country, and those who have disabilities and need our support," said John L. Fiegel, interim president and CEO of Rebuilding Together.  "We appreciate all of the input from our participating affiliates, the team at Harvard's Joint Center, our sponsors, and our partners."

The Harvard study, titled "The Role of Nonprofit Organizations and Public Programs in Promoting Rehabilitation and Repair Activity," was conducted by the Joint Center's Remodeling Futures Program to better understand the specific roles nonprofit agencies and public programs play in home remodeling and repair, including their main objectives, service mechanisms and strategies, locations and populations served, and estimated impacts.

The report concluded that nonprofit organizations, such as Rebuilding Together, and public agencies are investing considerable resources—financial, technical and direct provision of services—to make homes safer and healthier, more energy efficient, and more accessible for low-income, elderly, disabled, and otherwise disadvantaged households. The result of these efforts is the preservation of badly-needed affordable housing opportunities, and the stabilization and revitalization of distressed neighborhoods. The collaborative and networked structure of major nonprofits in this sector allows for the flow of resources to support the efforts at a local level, where the specific needs of their community are best known.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies working paper is available free for download