A Holiday Gift for You: A Year’s Worth of Great Webinars
by Christopher Bloom and Sarah Goodwin
With the 2019 holiday season wrapping up, we know that many of you are just itching to get back to work on the housing health issues that continue to plague our society. Don’t get me wrong: Reminiscing with your parents and siblings can be wonderful (and sometimes hilarious and sometimes wistful; and sometimes all three), and talking about current events with some members of your extended family can be, um, stimulating; but enough already! This is the work we all do, we’re passionate about it, and not even a vat of eggnog can keep us away for long. And since some of us can recite pages upon pages of dialogue from holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, The Sound of Music, and…yes, Die Hard (yes, unapologetically), we thought we’d suggest something else to watch that you maybe you haven’t already seen 30 times and is 100% guaranteed not to have adorable couples singling “Buffalo Gals,” any of Julie Andrews’ favorite things, or Hans Gruber falling from the Nakatomi building.*
So, what do we have to offer instead? Only a slew of informational and inspirational webinars that NCHH and the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition (NCHH is a member) presented in 2019. These programs were initially available only to webinar registrants, but we recently uploaded them to NCHH’s YouTube channel and wanted you to know that they are now available anytime you don’t feel like watching Home Alone.
The National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition finished 2019 strong, passing both the 600- and 650-member mark. Among them were folks hailing from our final five target states, including the elusive North Dakota. The coalition now proudly represents all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Our established members were also very busy this year, as the coalition presented twice the webinars than any previous year. We’re very proud of all that the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition has accomplished in its first 10 years and look forward to what they’re working on for 2020! Below is a review of some of the coalition’s recent webinars.
The Intersection Between Energy and Health
In the first coalition webinar of the year, Eric Behna (Program Policy and Communications Manager at the National Association for State Community Services Programs), Tim Bernthal (Weatherization Program and Communications Coordinator, Low-Income Weatherization Program at the Washington State Department of Commerce), and Jamal Lewis (Policy and Technical Assistance Specialist, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative) presented an exploration of the intersection of energy efficiency and health outcomes. The webinar also included an introduction to the connection between energy and health and dispatches from ongoing projects and case studies. Watch the webinar.
Local and State Lead Laws
Ruth Ann Norton, President and CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), was joined by the Maryland Department of the Environment‘s Ben Grumbles, Horacio Tablada, and Kaley Laleker for a conversation about the innovative lead poisoning prevention programs from Baltimore City and Maryland, how these programs can serve as case studies, and what lessons can be learned for other jurisdictions. Watch the webinar.
Legal Frameworks for Lead and Healthy Housing
In Legal Frameworks for Lead and Healthy Housing, presenters from Temple University (Scott Burns, Interim Department Chair, Temple University College of Public Health, and Kathleen Moran-McCabe, Special Projects Manager, Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research) and Rebecca Morley (formerly of NCHH and the Pew Charitable Trusts, now a distinguished healthy homes consultant) discussed legal strategies and approaches for increasing the supply of safe and healthy housing in the U.S. The review included what is known about the operation and effects of legal levers for health equity in housing and the presenters’ thoughts on how foundations can promote the development and spread of healthy housing policies. Watch the webinar.
New Preemption: A Look at State Efforts to Limit Local Power and Policy Making
Over the past decade, state legislatures across the nation have been passing more laws forbidding or preempting local control over a large and growing set of public health, economic, environmental, and social justice policy solutions. This increased state interference in local decision making has chilled local initiative and regulation. In this important webinar, Nestor Davidson from the Fordham University School of Law and Kim Haddow from Local Solutions Support Center examined the scope and effects of this “new” preemption across several policy realms, with a special focus on housing. Watch the webinar.
Exploring City and Neighborhood Measures of Housing and Health Equity
Launched in 2017, NYU’s City Health Dashboard is a free online data resource featuring over 35 measures of health and the drivers of health for the 500 largest U.S. cities, down to a population of 66,000. In this webinar, Shoshanna Levine, Program Director, and Rebecca Ofrane, Manager of Partnerships, introduced the City Health Dashboard and discussed interesting measures that can serve local housing agencies and advocates countrywide, including housing with potential lead risks, excessive housing cost burden, smoking rates, life expectancy and more, all at the census tract or city level. Watch the webinar.
Climate Change and the Environment: Respiratory Impacts, General Health Risks, and the IAQ Implications of Increased Flooding and Wildfires
Climate change represents one of the most significant threats to human health of the 21st century. Given the wide range of climate-related events, from wildfires to flooding to high heat, it’s evident that the built and indoor environment face new and substantial risks. Likewise. climate change threatens occupant health as well. Led by Aileen Gagney (technical advisor and Trainer for the Tribal Healthy Homes Network as well as adjunct faculty for the University of Washington School of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences) and Dr. Jeff Demain (Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington; Affiliate Professor, WWAMI School of Medical Education, University of Alaska, Anchorage; and founder of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska), Climate Change and the Environment explored the current science behind some of the health impacts of climate change, including changes to the rates and severity of respiratory and allergic diseases. The webinar also explored some of the evidence-based best practices that can be facilitated through ventilation and filtration improvements within the indoor environment. Watch the webinar.
How the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition Scored Major Policy Wins in Six Months
Kim Foreman, Executive Director of Environmental Health Watch, and Daniel Cohn, Vice President of Strategy for Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, led this presentation about Cleveland’s new policy to address lead hazards in homes. Listeners also got to learn about the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition and the partnership building, policy development, and advocacy that went into the adoption of this new policy. Watch the webinar.
We at NCHH were also pleased to be able to present a pair of well-received webinars in 2019 that demonstrate two very different but very effective ways that city governments can achieve healthier housing for their residents. We’d talked with our partners for quite a while, and we think you’ll agree that reward was worth the effort!
Building Better Health Through Improved Housing Codes
For Building Better Health, NCHH Executive Director Amanda Reddy and Bob Curry from the City of Dallas show how to make stronger, more codes, how best to enforce them, and how effective codes promote and improve community health. They discuss how some communities, including a major city (Dallas, Texas), have prioritized proactive housing code inspections and enforcement strategies to create healthier housing. They also discuss how the National Healthy Housing Standard (published by NCHH and APHA) can be used to strengthen housing codes and improve health and how NCHH’s new Code Comparison Tool measures the strength of building and maintenance codes. Watch the webinar.
Getting Ahead of Lead: Can Predictive Modeling Help Prevent Childhood Lead Exposure?
Lead poisoning is a major public health problem that affects hundreds of thousands of children in the United States every year. A common approach to identifying lead hazards is to test all children for elevated blood lead levels and then investigate and remediate the homes of children with elevated tests. This can prevent exposure to lead of future residents but only after a child has been poisoned. In Getting Ahead of Lead, Rayid Ghani from Carnegie Mellon University (formerly from the University of Chicago) and Janna Kerins (Medical Director, Environmental Health) and Raed Mansour (Director, Office of Innovation) from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) describe the innovative work between the University of Chicago CDPH, which resulted in a model that predicts the risk of a child being poisoned so that an intervention can occur before the exposure. Using two decades of blood lead level tests, home lead inspections, property value assessments, and census data, their model allows inspectors to prioritize houses on an intractably long list of potential hazards and identify children who are at the highest risk. This work has been described by CDPH as pioneering in the use of machine learning and predictive analytics in public health and has the potential to have a significant impact on both health and economic outcomes for communities across the U.S. Watch the webinar.
And there you have it: approximately nine hours of webinars, suitable for bingeing and probably way better than the Cats movie that everyone is griping about. Inspiring and invigorating, these webinars are just the thing to kick-start your brain. We’ll have you back to your pre-holiday form in no time!
Christopher Bloom is NCHH’s communications and marketing manager. He joined NCHH in 2008 after nearly a decade in the real estate industry. In a previous role at NCHH, he coordinated a national Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) training program, one of the most successful in the nation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Textual Studies from Syracuse University.
Sarah Goodwin joined NCHH as a policy analyst in June 2017. She previously served NCHH as a policy intern, helping to establish and run the Find It, Fix It, Fund It lead action drive and its work groups. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government from American University.