Green and Healthy Homes
Generations of chronic disinvestment in low-income communities have left over 6 million families trapped in unhealthy inefficient housing. The evidence is clear and compelling that unsafe and unhealthy housing leads to wealth depletion, abandoned properties, housing instability, potential homelessness, and increased risk of housing based illnesses. Unhealthy housing is the source of 250,000 new cases of childhood lead poisoning, 720,000 asthma related emergency room visits, and countless injuries every year. The related economic losses from unhealthy housing spill well into the billions annually. This problem is solvable with targeted, cost-effective and time-efficient interventions.
With the historic federal and state investments in residential weatherization and energy efficient projects in low-income households, a unique opportunity exists to leverage a new generation of affordable Green and Healthy Homes for all families. By addressing the nexus of home-based environmental health hazards and energy efficiency issues, we can increase the stock of affordable green, healthy and safe housing in our most distressed and impacted communities. Through a cost effective integrated intervention strategy, we can create homes that will yield better health, social and economic outcomes for families and their children. Equally, investment in the development of Green and Healthy Homes will create a pathway to higher quality employment and wealth building through sustainable “green collar” jobs and small business ownership opportunities for residents of targeted communities.
The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, in partnership with The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Council on Foundations, fourteen (14) local project sites and philanthropic communities is helping to lead the national Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. The work of GHHI is to promote federal support for inter-agency adoption of Healthy and Safe Housing standards for all housing intervention programs and to efficiently leverage health into investments in areas such as weatherization and energy efficiency. As part of the initiative, GHHI pilot projects will take place in fourteen cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Flint, New Haven, Philadelphia, Providence, San Antonio and two tribal reservations. These pilot projects will serve to inform the national agenda by generating best practices and lessons learned in the area of integrated green and healthy housing assessment and interventions.