The Healthy Housing Challenge combines the strengths of Rebuilding Together and NCHH to help 50 affiliates build their technical capacity and secure additional funds to complete expanded health and safety repairs to 2,400 homes in three years. A “Learning Community” of affiliates is now testing and refining the Healthy Housing Rehab and Repair tools and training.
Millions of American homes pose serious health and safety hazards, ranging from tripping and fire hazards to asthma triggers, moisture and ventilation problems, and toxic exposures. Older, low-income homes with deferred maintenance typically pose far greater risks. Most Americans – homeowners, remodelers, health care providers, and policymakers – have only a limited understanding of the link between our homes and our health. Yet hazards in our homes add hundreds of billions to national health care costs in unnecessary injury, illness, disease, and death.
As the leader in healthy homes research and evaluation, NCHH knows what works to make homes healthier and safer. Its Seven Principles for Healthy Homes guide repairs, and a new set of tools and training called Healthy Housing Rehab and Repair – developed specifically for volunteer-based organizations – put these principles into practice. Most repairs are relatively simple, low-cost, and easily mastered with basic training.
Across the nation, Rebuilding Together affiliates mobilize volunteers to make home repairs at no charge to help low-income homeowners, veterans, and seniors. Affiliates’ discovery of widespread health and safety hazards in clients’ homes prompted Rebuilding Together to make Safe and Healthy Housing a strategic priority in 2011. Many affiliates are committed to building their capacity to more effectively identify and correct health and safety hazards in their clients’ homes.
Rebuilding Together and NCHH are now recruiting corporate and foundation sponsors to launch the Healthy Housing Challenge, which will support participating affiliates in the following ways:
- A two-day training for affiliate staff in the Healthy Housing Rehab and Repair Tools along with three-hour trainings for house captains, affiliate directors, and CapacityCorps members
- A new protocol to identify needed health and safety repairs, which draws on detailed specifications and rough cost estimates to develop more detailed work statements
- Step-by-step instructions to help volunteer teams complete priority repairs
- Increased funding for additional health and safety repairs – Rebuilding Together and NCHH are working to enlist national sponsors to support grants to affiliates averaging $2,500 per home for expanded health and safety repairs
During 2013, the Challenge will kick-off with Rebuilding Together affiliates in nine communities:
- Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church, VA
- Baltimore, MD
- Denver, CO
- Peninsula and Sacramento, CA
- Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA
- Omaha NE
- Triangle, NC
The Challenge will then be scaled up to include additional affiliates across the country. For more information, contact Don Ryan, Senior Advisor at NCHH
Learn more about the Healthy Housing Challenge program and the types of repairs that can be made to
improve a home.