Where you live goes a long way toward determining how you live—by determining your access to quality schools, good healthcare, reliable transportation, clean air, stable employment, and more. Sustainable communities deliver all of these amenities, which are necessities for thriving: Over the last two decades, a growing body of research has demonstrated the importance of safe, stable, and affordable housing for both community and household wellbeing.
Since 2017, Arabella Advisors has partnered with Fannie Mae to seek and support innovative ideas that advance sustainable communities. Through the Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge, Fannie Mae selected 13 awardees implementing innovations across the country that do just that.
Today, we’re excited to share the work of one of those awardees: BuildUP, a high school in Birmingham, AL that blends traditional academic coursework with hands-on, paid apprenticeships in home construction and real estate. Build UP ’s innovative program helps students develop marketable skills and become homeowners, creating generational wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities, even as they break down barriers like blight and racial inequity that have too often curtailed the community’s development.
But don’t just take our word for it. Check out Fannie Mae and BuildUP’s photo essay about the organization’s work and impact.