Equity and Affordable Housing: Processes and Tools for Creating Living Affordable Housing and Centering Equity in the Built Environment

A session by Jenny Anderson, Wanda Dalla Costa, Lisa Goodwin Robbins, Jon Hall, Rex Holbein, Jennifer LaFreniere, Aubrey McCormick, Cheryl McMurtry, Anne Hickes Harney, Ed Petersen, Susan Puri, Kathleen Smith, Tina Song and Mike Steffen
Forest Stewardship Council, Del E. Webb School of Construction, Kalin Associates, GGLO Design, Facing Homelessness, Block Architects, Forest Stewardship Council, Arch Nexus, Long Green Specs, Chief Strategic Officer, ILFI, ILFI, Clark Construction and Walsh Construction

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About this session

Equity is a central tenet of ILFI’s mission as an organization and our work with affordable housing developers is core to creating communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. We believe equity in the built environment must be at the forefront of decision-making throughout the entire design and construction process to allow for successful projects. This results in meaningful engagement with local communities, elevation of underrepresented voices in society, and infrastructure that supports stable and health-promoting environments.

This summit will discuss how affordable housing teams have created innovative processes to lead the way on both equity and sustainability. The day will kick off with a short and inspiring keynote from the frontlines of sustainable and healthy affordable housing design. The summit will continue with highlights from ILFI’s Affordable Housing Program over the first five years - focused on lessons learned from dozens of projects, distilled and honed to help others develop Living Affordable Housing. Virtual tours, inspiring stories, and case studies from examples of Living Affordable Housing pilot projects will be shared throughout. The session will also include a deep dive into equity and toxicity in the built environment and will include an introduction to tools to connect practitioners with affordable, durable, and non-toxic materials. The session will also include a strategic discussion on eliminating structural barriers in the construction process to incorporate healthy materials.

This session is for anyone passionate about making sure that society’s most vulnerable populations are an integral part of our Living Future.


  • Review recommendations for creating Living Affordable Housing - housing that addresses all aspects of the Living Building Challenge.
  • Identify processes used by affordable housing project teams that further equity throughout design and construction.
  • Understand the impact of material selection on the health of affordable housing occupants, communities, and lower income workers.
  • Discuss replicable materials selection strategies from affordable housing project case studies.


This summit has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • 4 General LFA CE credits
  • 4 AIA LU|HSW

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