Tempe, AZ – The Ramsey Social Justice Foundation is honored to announce a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action, titled Sustainable Neighborhoods for Wellbeing and Happiness. The commitment was launched at the sixth annual CGI America meeting earlier today in Atlanta, GA.
The Sustainable Neighborhoods for Wellbeing and Happiness commitment, led by Jenny Norton and Bob Ramsey of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, in partnership with the City of Tempe, Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, Habitat para la Humanidad Guatemala, Habitat for Humanity International Arizona and New Course aims to create sustainable and affordable housing for the least among us.
“Our commitment isn’t just about creating two sustainable neighborhoods,” explained Jenny Norton, Co-Founder of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation. “We want to establish a scalable project that can serve as a model for realizing many more sustainable and healthy neighborhoods for our marginalized neighbors, while working to preserve our Mother Earth.”
The Ramsey Social Justice Foundation has a long history with Habitat for Humanity, which includes building the first LEED Platinum Certified Sustainable affordable home in the nation. Since then, they have completed a NetZero home, built more than 100 green-built affordable homes and help to provide clean water and shelters in nations of need.
In an effort to ensure the Sustainable Neighborhoods mission is met, the partners will engage and educate community members throughout the process.
“Empowering communities to define and achieve their priorities is a key to sustainability,” stated Mick Dalrymple, Director, University Sustainability Practices, Arizona State University.
The initial scope includes the Victory Acres neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona and three communities in Guatemala – Santo Domingo, Milpas Altas and Santa Lucia.
“The City of Tempe is excited to participate in the initiative that will help transform Victory Acres into a more sustainable community,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said.
Victory Acres, an established and low-income neighborhood in Tempe is comprised of several third-generation Tempe families. The transition into a sustainable community will include renovating and weatherizing existing homes, as well as building new greenbuilt homes. These efforts will help to improve the homeowners’ health and safety, while reducing their housing operation and maintenance costs.
“Affordable housing issues are not limited to those needing a new home, but also in neighborhoods with existing homes,” HHCAZ’s Chief Program Officer, Lisa Weide stated. “Habitat has expanded its service to include home repair and neighborhood revitalization.”
In Guatemala, community improvements will focus initially on ensuring households have access to clean energy, improved wash facilities including access to clean water and latrines, and in some cases, installation of cement flooring. In an effort to ensure continued progress, residents will receive training in community organization, financial education, disaster prevention and mitigation, use and maintenance of products and construction.
“The needs of these communities are so great and diverse,” shared Steven J. Cook, Director of International Resource Development Guatemala. “We are encouraged to be working together with families in need to assist them in improving their living conditions.”
“Making sure clean energy and home repairs benefit all the members of a household helps to build resilience for the entire family.” Dr. Jamie Bechtel, CEO of New Course further explained “We are excited to be working on this inclusive program with such a dedicated team of practitioners and community members in two very different scenarios.”
About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is a local nonprofit organization that partners with families in need of decent, affordable housing to build strength, stability and self-‐‑ reliance through shelter. This faith-‐‑based organization builds affordable housing, improves communities and revitalizes neighborhoods and has been serving Central Arizona since 1985. This affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International is one of the most active and is consistently listed in the top ten among the nearly 1,400 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the United States. Habitat has completed more than 1,100 homes in the metro Phoenix area.