BARHII, Urban Habitat, Solano County Public Health, and Kaiser Permanente are partnering to address a key social determinant of health impacting low-income, immigrant communities of color in Vallejo, Solano County. We will co-invest in a comprehensive housing justice strategy to stabilize Vallejo, a rapidly-changing community whose lack of philanthropic investment results in low levels of community organizing infrastructure. We will fill this gap, creating resident power to advance housing solutions including a community land trust. Vallejo is stressed by displacement from Bay Area cities where jobs are located but skyrocketing housing prices are forcing low-income families further out to housing and health-insecure neighborhoods.


BUILD and its communities apply bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven (BUILD) approaches to improve health in communities that are adversely affected by upstream factors.


This project builds capacity and helps build bridges between various communities within Vallejo that do not currently work together. We do not work solely within existing power structures, but move outside them; purchasing land directly in order to influence availability, affordability, and tenant’s rights gives the community direct control over housing issues in a way new to Vallejo.


Vallejo is struggling with displacement, both from federal anti-immigrant efforts and developers. These stresses make accessing health care both economically difficult—overburdened renters struggle to balance healthcare costs with paying rent—and socially dangerous—as immigrant residents worry that public systems will expose them to bias, discrimination, and deportation. By addressing these inter-related issues, the community can attain housing stability and access to the care they need.


Our project builds on a housing and health strategy that aligns community organizing and the public health department. This multi-prong framework creates a comprehensive housing affordability framework that increases housing stability and health. The housing preservation work creates the first land trust launched by community, public health, and health care institutions. Hiring a Housing Justice Organizer enables us to coordinate our efforts and to maximize each partner’s impact.


This project combines the strength of local government leaders and community coalition; the Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition serves as the steering committee for both the land trust and advocacy work. The Vallejo Community Land Trust is designed to be under local control, with neighborhood residents serving as trustees. The goal is to ensure that tenants have ownership of the land they occupy.


This project emerged in response to extensive data analysis. Hospital and health department partners identified housing cost as a serious health risk—and identified Vallejo as a key community experiencing housing inequity. Urban Habitat found that Black communities and lower income people have moved to East Contra Costa and Solano Counties, two communities who experience health disparities. A BARHII survey identified serious concerns from immigrant communities about accessing public services.