Over 100 forum participants attended the Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) breakout session, “A Multi-Sector Approach to Achieving Justice and Equity at the Intersections of Housing, Environment, and Health.” Panelists include Chantelle Wilkinson, campaign director, Dr. Sabrina Johnson, senior housing policy advocate at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Edgar Barraza, energy equity policy coordinator at Physicians for Social Responsibility- Los Angeles (PSR-LA). The speakers discussed how findings from a recent NRDC and PSR-LA report on centering environmental justice and health equity in building decarbonization clearly demonstrate the importance of equitable housing policies.  

Those working to advance environmental causes and health equity often cite housing justice as critical for ensuring sustainable and healthy communities, and Dr. Johnson and Barraza both shared how housing fits into their work as environmental and health advocates. The panelists concluded the session by sharing what they look forward to as partnerships between housing, health, and environmental advocates continue to grow and why they each believe coalitions are needed to combat the housing affordability crisis.  

“We want good, affordable homes on healthy lands, and to end the vicious cycle of poisoning our people,” said Barraza, when speaking about the intersections of affordable housing, health, and environmental justice.  

NRDC is a Steering Committee member of the OSAH campaign. Read the NRDC & PSR-LA report here