NCHH and NEHA Announce Nation’s First Healthy Homes Specialist Credential
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Phillip Dodge
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (June 16, 2007) – In partnership with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) announced today the creation of the nation’s first Healthy Homes Specialist (HHS) credential for professionals in the health and housing fields. Announced at NEHA’s annual meeting, the individuals earning the credential must demonstrate extensive knowledge of practices to make and keep homes healthy for occupants.
NCHH Executive Director Rebecca Morley* said the credential raises awareness about healthy housing practices and encourages health and housing professionals to work as a team. “A nurse or a housing inspector visiting a family at home should be able to recognize an unhealthy condition that could cause or contribute to illness. Greater awareness of problems or potential problems increases the likelihood that families will be connected to information and resources they need to correct the problems,” said Morley.
Nelson Fabian, NEHA’s Executive Director and CEO,* stated, “The home is where we live. There is no environment that is more important. By advancing our ability to understand what it takes to create a healthy home, this credential truly pushes progress in the direction of providing increasing numbers of people with a safe and healthful environment.”
To achieve the credential, individuals must complete a comprehensive exam on the seven principles* of healthy housing, which include keeping homes dry, clean, pest-free, free from contaminants, ventilated, safe, and well-maintained. Individuals seeking a Healthy Homes Specialist credential must also meet the following qualifications:
- Must be at least 21 years of age;
- Have five years of experience in housing, environmental health or public health;
- Achieve a minimum score of 70% on the qualifying examination; and
- Successfully complete an online home assessment exercise.
The credential is being released in conjunction with the National Healthy Homes Training Center, which is managed by NCHH* and funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While receiving training through the National Healthy Homes Training Center better prepares applicants for the credential exam, it is not a prerequisite. The Training Center brings together a network of universities and training partners who can offer the training necessary to help the Healthy Homes Specialist succeed. NEHA is the leading national organization of environmental health professionals. It manages eight other credentials for these professionals.
Professionals who may be interested in the Healthy Homes Specialist credential may include:
- Individuals who have been certified or licensed as lead risk assessors, radon measurement professionals, or mold professionals. These individuals have developed a basic expertise in a specific environmental hazard in the home and should be interested in expanding their capability and services.
- NEHA-registered environmental health specialists seeking to document their experience and expertise in housing.
- Public health nurses seeking to document their expertise in healthy homes.
- Health department and housing agency staff seeking to document their expertise in healthy homes or to better position their agencies to receive HUD healthy homes grants.
- Licensed pest management professionals seeking to expand their services. Resolving pest problems using integrated pest management essentially relies on a knowledge base similar to the Healthy Homes Practitioner.
- Certified home inspectors seeking to expand their business by adding healthy homes to their standard services.
The National Center for Healthy Housing (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. NCHH also works with governmental and nongovernmental organizations to develop standards and programs and guide their implementation through insurers, lenders, federal and state laws and regulations, community organizations, and the courts.
*Updates to This Article
Due to its age, some portions of this article that were accurate at the time of its publication are no longer so. To avoid confusion, NCHH has added the following notes, corrections, and/or updates:
- Ms. Rebecca Morley served as NCHH’s executive director until December 2014. Amanda Reddy is now NCHH’s executive director.
- David Dyjack is now NEHA’s executive director.
- Since the publication of this article, additional principles have been added to this list. Learn about them here.
- At the time of this press release, the National Healthy Homes Training Center was a project managed by NCHH. It is now managed by Healthy Housing Solutions, NCHH’s for-profit subsidiary.
- NEHA and the Healthy Homes Training Center discontinued the Healthy Homes Specialist examination due to the high cost of updating the exam. From NEHA: “If you currently hold the HHS credential, please continue to enter your continuing education (CE) hours via your My NEHA account. You will receive a renewal notice via email 30, 60, and 90 days prior to your credential expiring. Please contact the Credentialing Department at 303-756-9090 ext. 328 or email@example.com if you have any questions.”