DC Department of Energy and Environment

1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor Washington, DC 20002

With funding from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, NCHH awarded 15 $5,000 Lead Poisoning Awareness Community Mini-Grants in 2017. These grants were for community events focused on raising awareness, engaging community leaders in advocacy, or motivating policy change around lead poisoning prevention.
As a mini-grantee, the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) hosted a call to action and working conference to launch a new citywide multisector Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Collaborative (“Collaborative”). The vision for this Collaborative is to promote the primary prevention of lead poisoning by expanding the District’s capacity to maintain safe and affordable housing. The Collaborative will provide a sustainable infrastructure for ongoing learning, problem solving, data sharing, and coordination. The inaugural conference engaged a multi-sector audience of District leaders, decision-makers, and community members in learning more about the problem of lead in our communities and in discussing strategies to prevent, control, and eliminate lead hazards and lead poisoning. Input from conference participants will be used to update the District’s three-year Strategic Plan for Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes.
The conference included the following elements:
• Opening remarks by DOEE Director Tommy Wells, who underscored the need for stronger multi-sector collaboration to address the ongoing threat of lead poisoning in the District.
• Well-organized, informed speakers from varied groups who presented different perspectives on key topics and provided a solid foundation for both learning and dialogue by attendees.
• Group brainstorming to identify and build consensus around priority goals from the Collaborative. Group exercises yielded eight aims, which attendees condensed into three priority goals: 1) Cooperation, 2) Education, and 3) Proactivity/Primary Prevention.
• Participants from a variety of sectors, including housing counselors, health care providers, real estate professionals, tenant organizers, environmental justice advocates, scientists, attorneys, policy advocates, and government staff from the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Energy and Environment, Department of Health, Department of Health Care Finance, Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing Authority, and Office of the City Administrator.
Going forward, in addition to launching the ongoing Collaborative at this event, DOEE has reviewed feedback from attendees on the quality of the event and will use input from the participants to update the District’s three-year Strategic Plan for Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes.

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