No family should have to choose between affordable and healthy housing. "Healthy Homes" is a century-old concept that promotes safe, decent, and sanitary housing as a means for preventing disease and injury.
Healthy housing is receiving considerable attention from public health professionals and policy-makers as a result of emerging scientific evidence linking health outcomes such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries to substandard housing.
There are more than 5.2 million substandard housing units nationwide. As a result, there is a growing need for preventing the public health problems stemming from these units. Even newer, more expensive homes may have hazards lurking within. Creating healthier housing promotes the healthy growth and development of children and has the potential to save billions in health care costs.
***NEW POLICY RESOURCE***Preventing Lead Exposure in U.S. Children: A Blueprint for Action
Released in October 2014, this report describes the actions that government, advocates, and the private sector must take to protect children from a disease that affects over a half-million children.
The report calls for making more than 11 million homes lead-safe and ensuring that children who have already been exposed get the healthcare and educational support they need. Specific recommendations in the report include:
- Require that homes built before 1960 to be tested for lead before sale.
- Ensure that homes receiving energy efficiency upgrades do not create lead hazards.
- Double the funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) lead poisoning prevention efforts.
- Reduce lead in drinking water by accelerating the replacement of lead service lines in homes.
- Increase from 18 to 50 the number of states that comply with Medicaid requirements for follow-up services in the homes of enrollees who have been exposed to lead.
- Ensure schools provide the assessment and intervention services to the more than 500,000 children exposed to lead to improve their ability to learn.