HUD hands out 2018 Healthy Home Awards
National program and efforts aiming to make housing healthier for its occupants have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).
The groups recently announced the winners of the 2018 HUD Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes, an award recognizing excellence in making indoor environments healthier through healthy homes.
For the fourth consecutive year, HUD and NEHA identified local programs and research that promote healthier housing through education, partnering and innovative practices.
Criteria for winning the awards include demonstration of the health impact on population, policy/program innovations, impact on the physical environment, economic sustainability, partnership/collaboration and measurability.
The awardees were:
Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, Baltimore
Founded in 1986, GHHI has become a national leader in the healthy homes and integrated and health and energy fields. In 1999, it launched one of the nation’s first healthy homes programs that offered resident education, environment assessment and housing interventions to remediate asthma triggers, household injury risks and other homes-based environmental health hazards. Since 1993, GHHI has directly served more than 20,000 clients and completed more than 4,000 healthy homes interventions in the homes of low- income families in Baltimore. It also has provided technical assistance to 45 cities and states on successful healthy homes strategies.
Fort Collins Healthy Homes Program and DIY Assessment Tool, Fort Collins, Colorado
Recognizing the implications of poor indoor air quality on human health and productivity, the city’s Healthy Homes program was established in 2011 to address residential indoor air quality. The program hinges on the support of community members who volunteer as master home educators to provide in-home assessments.
More than 800 assessments have been completed since 2011, and 2,475 residents – 19 percent of whom have asthma – have been reached.
To reach more residents, the program created an online DIY Home Assessment Tool, which is patterned after the Healthy Homes in-home assessment and focuses on the “Eight Principles of a Healthy Home.” It walks residents through each area of their home, asking specific questions as it relates to indoor air quality problems.
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority/Thurgood Marshall Apartments, Milwaukee
Thurgood Marshall Apartments in Milwaukee was recognized for its innovative approach to the seemingly hopeless dilemma of chronic homelessness. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority administers the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, one of the funding sources. The new construction project provides 24 one-bedroom units of permanent supporting housing for very low-income adults who are chronically homeless and who suffer from chronic alcoholism.
Since 2008, the authority has created more than 600 units for individuals who have either been homeless or at risk of homelessness.
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.; and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans
The award recognizes excellence in healthy homes research and long-term commitment to the enhancement of healthy homes concepts through education and outreach. The work highlights research into the role of cockroaches on the quality of homes in the inner city and their role in asthma morbidity in low-income children. The research combines the efforts of academic researchers who work across the health, environment and housing sectors.
A major innovation of the work was the linkage of entomologist and environmental epidemiologists that enables a deeper understanding of how to eradicate cockroach infestations using lower toxicity approaches to significantly reduce household allergens and improve children’s health.