2018 Healthy Homes Workforce Development Mini-Grants

The National Center for Healthy Housing is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2018 Healthy Homes Workforce Development Mini-Grants competition. With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, NCHH awarded 10 mini-grants of $7,500 each to organizations in California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia. This will support communities’ efforts to integrate healthy homes activities into their healthcare systems and policies, as well as develop a well-trained, knowledgeable, and reliable workforce to provide healthy homes services. The competition was open to governments, educational institutions, public housing, nonprofits, and tribal communities.

NCHH chose projects that build new partnerships, engage new providers of healthy homes services, and offer innovative strategies to deliver culturally-sensitive training to community health workers (CHWs), community paramedics, home assessors, energy auditors, pest management professionals (PMP), at-risk young adults, and others who engage in home visits. NCHH believes the experiences of these recipients will significantly expand the range of models and best practices for building and sustaining the healthy homes workforce.

The 2018 mini-grant recipients were to complete their projects by October 31, 2018.

NCHH has published a summary report about the Healthy Homes Workforce Development project, the grantees’ projects, and the lessons learned for the future: Lessons Learned from Mini-Grants to Support the Development of a Healthy Homes Workforce.

The 2018 Grantees

American Lung Association in Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
Founded on Kauai in 1929, the American Lung Association in Hawaii (ALA-HI) is the oldest private nonprofit voluntary health agency in the state. Following its mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, ALA-HI partners with schools to provide life-changing asthma management education for children focused on underserved low-income communities and Native Hawaiian populations. These high-priority populations experience significantly higher rates of asthma than both state and national averages. The ALA-HI will extend its fight for air into the homes of children living with asthma by providing CHWs with the training, resources, and support they need to provide in-home indoor air quality assessments and targeted solutions. Through two interactive webinars that reach participants in all of Hawaii’s islands, ALA-HI will provide CHWs with training specific to Hawaii’s unique needs and expand recruitment for home visiting services.

Environmental Health Coalition, National City, California
The Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) works to reduce pollution and improve health and well-being for thousands of people in underserved, low-income communities in San Diego and Tijuana. EHC’s Healthy Kids/Healthy Homes program protects low-income children of color from hazards in the home including lead-based paint, mold, and pests. EHC works closely with CHWs across targeted neighborhoods and has recognized that there is a significant gap in CHWs from immigrant/refugee populations. Through this project, EHC will translate its healthy homes curriculum into three languages in addition to English and Spanish (i.e., Vietnamese, Karen, Somali) and provide healthy homes assessment training and materials to CHWs from the diverse immigrant community of City Heights. The project will fill a critical gap in the healthy homes network by reaching children and families that have been unreachable due to language barriers.

Genesee Health System, Flint, Michigan
Flint, Michigan, has battled an ongoing water crisis since April 2014, although it was not officially recognized as an emergency until January of 2016. Flint residents have been advised and urged to use state-distributed filters to eliminate lead particulates in their tap water. But a recent community survey found that many residents report that they are either not utilizing filters or do not feel confident in their knowledge or abilities to properly utilize and maintain these filters. Leveraging many community partners, Genesee Health System will use its mini-grant to provide a train-the-trainer workshop. This workshop will provide vetted in-depth information, demonstration, and skill-building opportunities related to proper filter usage. The workshop will also provide material related to adult learning and a “how to train” segment with the goal that participants continuing to train other community members on appropriate filter usage. This workshop will also feature information on the other lead-elimination programs currently available to Flint residents, including the Lead Safe Home Program and the Flint Registry.

green|spaces, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Since 2008, green|spaces has advanced the sustainability of living, working, and building in Chattanooga by providing education and training about best practices for healthy, high performance buildings. This year, green|spaces, along with the City of Chattanooga and EPB, the local power company, launched the Build It Green workforce development program focused on training at-risk young adults. Additionally, green|spaces undertook a feasibility study with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) to implement a comprehensive asthma intervention, including healthy homes assessment and remediation, focused on addressing the areas with extremely high rates of asthma (those where 12.5% of children suffer from that condition). This feasibility study identified a shortage of a healthy homes workforce to provide home assessments and education. The mini-grant will provide healthy homes workforce training to three distinct groups: community health workers, energy auditors, and Build It Green workforce development program participants. This grant will fill a gap in community efforts to address asthma and other health issues that originate or are exacerbated by unhealthy homes.

Health Council of East Central Florida, Winter Park, Florida
Two community paramedics make home visits to individuals with chronic health conditions living in vulnerable neighborhoods in Seminole County, Florida, to reduce the likelihood that they will require emergency health services or hospitalization. Often, these community paramedics identify housing issues that have the potential to contribute to identified health issues, such as broken doors, pest infestation, and other unsafe living conditions. The Health Council of East Central Florida (HCECF), together with Seminole County Government, the health department, and other partner organizations, will train the community paramedics and an existing team of CHWs to identify homes contributing to health risks and the local resources available to address them. The CHWs will then team with the community paramedics to identify clients at risk, determine appropriate interventions, and work with community partners like Rebuilding Together Orlando, Seminole County Government Community Services, and Meals on Wheels to ensure healthy housing. The program goal is to ensure that healthy housing contributes to the ability of the community paramedics and CHWs to prevent the need by these residents for emergency health services or hospitalization.

Indiana Healthy Homes Alliance and Improving Kids’ Environment, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indiana Healthy Homes Alliance (IHHA), along with its parent organization, Improving Kids’ Environment (IKE), have taught and promoted the concept of a healthy home for many years throughout Indiana. Past audiences have included homeowners, child care centers, landlords and their tenants, renovators and contractors, managed care entities, and medical providers. With the increased interest in Indiana in using CHWs in the healthcare system to access people in their homes, IHHA/IKE believes it is important to provide them with the basic skills to recognize and to give recommendations about the remediation of unhealthy housing conditions. Through its mini-grant, IHHA partners and IKE will offer trainings about healthy homes to CHWs in three locations around Indiana. Along with the National Healthy Homes Training Center and Network‘s Healthy Homes for Community Health Workers curriculum, the trainings will provide an introduction to asthma and asthma triggers. IHHA and IKE plan to follow these training sessions with others in more locations throughout the state and with ones that will offer a more in-depth coverage of asthma management.

Magnolia Medical Foundation, Jackson, Mississippi
Magnolia Medical Foundation (MMF) is a community-based organization that provides preventive health services to high-risk and underserved individuals and communities across Mississippi. MMF’s vision is to serve as a quality and assurance resource that addresses social and environmental determinants of health. MMF recognizes that there is a need for a more targeted approach to building healthy homes in Mississippi. This mini-grant will aid Mississippi’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to integrate healthy homes education and home visits into the scope of services for their CHWs. As a result, CHWs will add an additional layer of health education to the medical care and social services that communities need. MMF will conduct four “lunch and learn” meetings for CHWs and health center administrators in Mississippi-based FQHCs about (1) the importance of integrating healthy homes as a service of their organization, (2) the roles of CHWs in delivery of healthy homes services, and (3) how to incorporate the services into their organization.

Metropolitan Tenants Organization, Chicago, Illinois
The Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) will organize a series of four healthy homes practitioner trainings for CHWs and healthcare professionals among Chicago hospitals and health provider networks. MTO’s healthy homes practitioner trainings will equip more health workers with the essential knowledge and tools to teach clients how to identify and address home-based health hazards and share preventative exposure methods and support services to remediate unhealthy living conditions. The long-term goal of the project is to grow the intersecting pool of expert-supporters for proactive inspections in Chicago among renters, parents, doctors, pediatricians, community health workers, medical researchers, social services providers, and housing advocates.

Foundation for Professional Pest Management (QualityPro), Fairfax, Virginia
The mission of the Foundation for Professional Pest Management (d.b.a. QualityPro) is to set the standards of excellence for professional pest management companies and their employees through education, training and certification, thus providing consumers protection and confidence when selecting a nationally accredited company. Pest management professionals (PMPs), who work in every community across the U.S., have voiced a desire for more resources and credentials to prove their professionalism when it comes to creating pest-free homes. QualityPro will create, launch, and promote a new suite of public health service certifications that will give PMPs the opportunity to prove their knowledge of public health pests, set standards for what services targeting mosquitoes and rodents must include, and give communities an easy way to identify select professional pest management companies as partners in the creation of healthy homes.

Revitalize Community Development Corporation, Springfield, Massachusetts
Founded in 1992, Revitalize Community Development Corporation (Revitalize CDC) performs critical repairs, modifications, and rehabilitation on homes and nonprofit facilities in Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts, that serve low-income families with children, the elderly,  veterans, and people with special needs. Aging, dilapidated housing stock is one of the social determinants of health, especially for low-income families who are already experiencing health disparities. Both communities need to create an efficient, collaborative system to address and eliminate dilapidated housing conditions. Through the mini-grant, Revitalize CDC will ensure that staff and volunteers follow the most current practices to create and support healthy housing and public health, ranging from home health visits and inspection to community outreach, advocacy, and construction practices. Through its Training for Public Health and Housing Practitioners three-day workshop, Revitalize CDC will increase the capacity and number of health assessors trained to conduct home assessments for families referred from the healthcare system in Springfield and Holyoke. During the workshop, students will learn about the importance of conducting an assessment and resident interview using solutions-based approach and tools. After developing strategies to assess the health-related hazards in a home, students will conduct an onsite inspection, from which they will develop a comprehensive action plan. They will also learn about identifying responsible parties, estimating costs, handling the bid process, communicating with residents, managing qualify control and keeping adequate records.


Workforce Development Mini-Grant Eligibility Requirements

2017 Workforce Development Mini-Grant Recipients