Leaders in Healthy Housing Recognized at 2011 Healthy Homes Conference


NCHH Executive Director Rebecca Morley Receives HUD’s First Healthy Homes Pioneer Award and the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition Honors Individuals and Organizations for Achievements in Advancing Healthy Housing

Denver, CO (June 22, 2011) – At this year’s National Healthy Homes Conference in Denver, CO, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) recognized organizations and individuals for their contributions to making healthy, safe and sustainable homes a reality for families across all income levels. At an evening reception held on June 22, the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition (the Coalition) announced four awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to improving the health and safety conditions of housing for families nationwide; the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) awarded four grants to community-based organizations as part of its Grassroots Advocacy Network; and NCHH Executive Director Rebecca Morley was honored with the inaugural Healthy Homes Pioneer Award for advancing the field of healthy housing.

National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition 2011 Safe and Healthy Housing Award Winners
The National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the healthy homes movement, specifically to help those disproportionately impacted by unhealthy housing conditions, including low-income families and individuals, people of color, children, and older adults. Award winners include:

  • Dr. Nancy Crider, DrPH, RN, Program Manager, University of Texas School of Public Health, Texas Public Health Training Center; 
  • Dr. Brenda Reyes, MD, MPH, Bureau Chief of the City of Houston Children’s and Community Environmental Health;
  • Rick Goodemann, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership; and
  • The Kresge Foundation

NCHH’s Grassroots Advocacy Network for Healthy Housing Awards Grants
At the awards reception, NCHH also announced its Grassroots Advocacy Network for Healthy Housing (Advocacy Network) grants. With the support of The Kresge Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, NCHH works to eradicate unhealthy living conditions with grants awarded through the Advocacy Network.

The grants are bestowed to community-based organizations to help them develop local solutions to address the problem of substandard housing and neighborhoods. Grassroots organizations may use the grant to help create local demand for healthy housing through media outreach, policy advocacy, community meetings, and other activities; educate policymakers and the public about unhealthy conditions; hold public agencies accountable; and create and sustain valuable collaboration between the public and private sectors and within government.

Out of 20 applicants, the following organizations were awarded grants:

  • The Metropolitan Tenants Organization (Chicago, IL) to expand its Healthy Homes Project by creating a grassroots campaign to implement a mandatory housing inspection program that will focus on health hazards affecting families in rental units in low-income, high risk areas such as Garfield Park, South Shore, and Auburn Gresham in Chicago.
  • The Visible Community (Lewiston, ME) to implement Phase III of their Neighborhood Housing League to improve housing conditions in downtown Lewiston on a broad scale.
  • Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan (Grand Rapids, MI) to mount a campaign to change local policy to end the city of Grand Rapids’ exemption from the rental certification program for single-family rental housing.
  • The Childhood Lead Action Project (Providence, RI)  to develop a plan of action  to influence and improve minimum housing code enforcement policy by convening a network of community, health, and environmental advocates to identify opportunities to reduce childhood lead poisoning and asthma triggers in the City of Providence.

To assist the grantees, NCHH will facilitate peer communication, offer technical assistance and capacity building support, disseminate promising practices in organizing and housing policy, and provide opportunities for involvement in national advocacy work.

NCHH Executive Director Receives HUD’s Inaugural Healthy Homes Pioneer Award
At a separate awards reception at the National Healthy Homes Conference, NCHH Executive Director, Rebecca Morley, was awarded the inaugural Healthy Homes Pioneer Award for her leadership in advancing the field of healthy homes. The award was given by HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) as part of the first ever Healthy Homes Leader Awards given to honor the extraordinary achievements of those who are “Leading the Nation to Healthy Homes, Families and Communities.”

About the 2011 Healthy Homes Conference
Concluding on June 23, the 2011 National Healthy Homes Conference represented the housing industry’s most comprehensive, progressive and educational forum on the issue of healthy, safe and sustainable homes. The conference brought together more than 2,000 health, housing and environmental professionals to work toward making housing healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable. 

The National Healthy Homes Conference was hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to encourage collaboration on healthy housing initiatives.

The attendees read as a Who’s Who in environmental, health, safety and housing leadership and included:

  • Mike Holmes, Host, Holmes on Homes, HGTV
  • Steve Thomas, Host, Renovation Nation, Planet Green
  • The Honorable Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Gary A. Officer, President and CEO, Rebuilding Together
  • Carlos Dora, MD, World Health Organization
  • Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity, Intl.
  • Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
  • Dr. Leonard Weather, President, National Medical Association
  • Nate Kredich, VP, Residential Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council.

Under the theme, Leading the Nation to Healthy Homes, Families and Communities, the conference explored health and safety problems in the home, including the disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations, such as seniors, children, people with disabilities and communities of color. In addition to four morning plenary sessions, subject matter experts lead more than 150 educational sessions on new techniques, emerging research, best practices and innovations in architecture, housing, green technology and public health. 

The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) is the only national scientific and technical non-profit organization dedicated to creating healthy and safe homes for America’s children through practical and proven steps. NCHH develops scientifically valid and practical strategies to make homes safe from hazards, to alert low- income families about housing-related health risks, and to help them protect their children.


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