Will.i.am's L.A. Projects Makeover: Homes to Promote Health
This story first appeared in the Dec. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
When will.i.am met Delos co-founder Morad Fareed, he instantly responded to the concept of how homes can promote health.
"I appreciate that Morad took the time to educate me and the i.am.angel Foundation team about how buildings can make people healthier, versus contributing to health problems," says the musician/philanthropist, who decided to bring the Delos concept home to the East L.A. housing project where he was raised.
"I am on a mission to enhance my hometown neighborhood of Boyle Heights, including helping to make Estrada Courts, the public housing project where I grew up, a healthier and more comfortable place to live," he says.
Estrada Courts now provides housing for more than 1,200 residents. Built in 1942-43, the freeway- and factory-adjacent community remains outfitted with lead paint and pipes, contributing to poor air and water quality.
"What we're doing isn't just something for luxury condos," says Delos founder Paul Scialla of the large-scale renovation and modernization, adding that will.i.am's project is just the start of Delos' WELL-Access program, "where we are bringing cleaner air, water and surface coatings to the affordable housing community sector as well."