Los Angeles needs safe and healthy homes now

February 7, 2022
by Zeeda M. Daniele, Executive Director at Rebuilding Together of the City of Angels

View Park resident and retired healthcare worker, Joyce Baker, has lived in her home for more than 50 years. Yet severe damage to the home’s kitchen, flooring and exterior are threatening her ability to safely remain in the home as she ages. Without the resources to make these critical home repairs, Joyce has lived in unsafe conditions for years.

Stories like Joyce’s are all too common across Los Angeles and beyond. And the impacts of living in a home that has fallen into disrepair can be devastating. From poor air quality and mobility challenges to faulty locks and aging appliances, countless factors in and around a home can cause a real and present threat to their residents’ physical health.

For homeowners without the means to make the repairs their homes so desperately need, the impact of these unsafe conditions can reach even further. They take a toll on residents’ mental wellness, can isolate them from their community, negatively impact their independence and safety and further threaten their future economic security.

The need for safe and healthy housing across Los Angeles is real. That’s why, in 2020, we launched Rebuilding Together of the City of Angels – an affiliate of the national organization Rebuilding Together – with the mission of repairing homes, revitalizing communities and rebuilding lives across Los Angeles.

And, to celebrate the Super Bowl’s arrival in town, we’re making the essential home repairs Joyce and 15 other neighbors in need. These no-cost repairs are part of Rebuilding Together’s annual Kickoff to Rebuild event, which has provided neighbors in need with essential repairs in Super Bowl host cities throughout the past three decades.

During that time, Kickoff to Rebuild events nationwide have repaired more than 158 homes, engaged more than 5,000 volunteers and invested more than $5 million in hometown communities. And this year, 16 Los Angeles homes – all within a five-mile radius of SoFi Stadium – are next.

In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Rebuilding Together, along with our partners and volunteers, has been at work on the critical repairs that Joyce and the other neighbors need to safely continue living in their homes. The project will culminate on February 11, when volunteers and Lowe’s Home Team Player and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver, Robert Woods, will lend their time to the effort.

And while some repaired siding or fixed floorboards may not sound significant, we know that these improvements can add up to major changes in the lives of the neighbors we work with. In fact, a recent survey of more than 400 homeowners who received repairs from Rebuilding Together affiliates across 11 states found exactly that.

Eighty-three percent of respondents agreed that their physical or mental health improved because of the repairs. Two-thirds reported a reduction in their frequency of feeling nervous or stressed. And 86 percent reported an increased likelihood of aging in place after repairs.

For Los Angeles homeowners like Joyce, a few no-cost repairs can make all the difference. Yet the need across our community is vast. We hope you’ll be a part of the movement for safe and healthy housing across Los Angeles in any way you can. To learn more, visit www.rebuildingla.org.