National Center for Healthy Housing Hosts the First National Summit on Healthy Housing Policy


For Immediate Release        
Media Contact: Phillip Dodge, (443) 539-4168,

National Center for Healthy Housing Hosts the First National Summit on  Healthy Housing Policy

40 Leading Nonprofit Partners Convened to Set a National Action Plan to Achieve Healthier Housing in the United States

Washington, DC —The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), in partnership with the Alliance for Healthy Homes, recently brought together 40 leaders from a “Group of 40” (G-
40) key national organizations in housing, public health, environmental health, energy efficiency,
tenant rights and green building to begin developing and implementing the first National Healthy Housing Action Plan. 

During the event, experts from Boston to Seattle reported on local programs that are successfully controlling and preventing the leading causes of disease and injury in homes across the United States including:
•    Asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses;
•    Lead poisoning, cancer, and other adverse effects of chemical exposure; and
•    Falls, fires, and other unintentional injuries.

“Health and safety hazards in the home disproportionately impact children, the poor and the elderly, unjustly lowering their quality of life and wasting billions of dollars in health care and education expenses. Building consensus among the nation’s leading health and housing organizations is the first step toward making healthy and safe housing accessible for all families,” said NCHH executive director, Rebecca Morley.

As a first step, over a dozen groups joined NCHH in agreeing to fight for the first comprehensive federal healthy housing bill, The Safe and Healthy Housing Act of 2009, which Sen. Jack Reed (D. RI) plans to introduce this session.” This bill will help us ensure that an affordable, decent, and healthy home is not just the American dream, but the American promise,” Senator Reed told the summit in announcing the legislation.

“Many great programs exist in states and localities around the country to address the wide range of health hazards in housing,” noted Alliance for Healthy Homes Executive Director, Patrick MacRoy.  “However, they are rarely brought to scale and often address problems independently rather than approach the home holistically. The summit provided the opportunity to bring together leaders to start the process of creating a national, holistic approach to eliminating health hazards in housing.”

Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders keynoted the event calling for the participants to seize this unique moment in time to take immediate action to safeguard families from health and safety hazards in their homes.
Attending organizations also committed to action steps to promote healthy housing among their own membership and constituents. From these pledges and the participants’ input during the Summit, NCHH and its partners are creating and implementing a National Healthy Housing Action Plan and have formed a working coalition of the key housing and health leaders to help implement it.

Mold, cockroaches, and dust mites trigger 4.6 million cases of asthma at a cost of $3.5 billion per year. Hazards that lead to falls, poisonings, and burns make homes the second most common location of unintentional fatal injuries in the United States and result in $222 billion in annual direct costs. Lead-based paint and other toxins in the environment that cause lead poisoning, cancer, and neurobehavioral disorders result in another $52.9 billion in annual costs. These hazards disproportionately impact children, the poor, minorities, and the elderly, yet also have straight-forward fixes.

Please visit, to learn more about the Summit.


NCHH is the only national scientific and technical nonprofit 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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