Model Policies

Whether looking to strengthen an existing policy, create a new policy, or learn about how your local situation compares to others, having model examples and/or local illustrations to demonstrate how others might approach healthy housing legislatively can be a powerful tool. Collected below are links to several places throughout the NCHH site and others, where you will be able to find more information on wide range of possibilities to integrate and strengthen healthy housing regulations.

Existing State Healthy Homes Legislation and Statutes
The National Conference of State Legislatures maintains a wide range of resources on healthy homes issues such as lead, carbon monoxide, radon, bedbugs, and landlord/tenant duties including state-by-state tables that list and summarize existing statues. [url; NCSL]

Model Building Codes
Scroll through NCHH’s Building Codes page to find local examples of codes supporting healthy homes, links to multiple resources to find local housing codes, additional detail on the ICC and what I-Codes have been adopted by your state, and learn more about the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). [url; NCHH]

Model Codes Addressing Specific Health Hazards
NCHH’s Addressing Specific Health Hazards through Code Enforcement page describes a number of resources showcasing standards and policies related specific health hazards such as how to learn more about recent laws and policy strategies adopted by states to address mold and mold remediation and view specific examples such as the newly enacted CA law (SB655, 2016) indicating that violation of mold provisions in CA code is a misdemeanor punishable by fine or up to one year in jail. [url; NCHH]

Model Green and Advanced Codes
This is a treasure trove of information on model green codes, as well as “advance” or “stretch” codes that are pushing to create energy efficient, healthier, and more environmentally friendly buildings. It’s a great resource for policy makers, housing and health professionals and advocates, and the private sector to learn more about how and where codes are going in the future to address climate change and resilience. [url; Building Codes Assistance Project]

Model Policy Incentives
Policy incentives, ranging from tax credits and low-interest loans to tax abatement and exemption programs, can provide a “carrot” alternative to the “stick” of code enforcement. Browse NCHH’s Incentivizing Healthy Housing page to learn more about potential initiatives and policies and review a collection of local examples from existing programs across the country. [url; NCHH]

Model Proactive Rental Inspection Programs
Instituting programs to periodically inspect rental housing, rather than wait for tenant complaints, can be an effective way to protect tenants and encourage safe and healthy housing. Browse the Proactive Rental Inspection page to learn more about these programs, review a model ordinance, and examine local illustrations. [url; NCHH]

Model Tenant Protection Provisions
Health and housing hazards in rental properties can go undetected unless tenants report violations; however, tenants may avoid speaking out for fear of retribution by the owner or being evicted once the issue(s) are addressed. Most states and jurisdictions have enacted provisions to protect tenants in these situations. Visit the Tenant Protections page to review examples of such provisions that exist in Maryland and Washington State. [url; NCHH]

National Healthy Housing Standard
The National Healthy Housing Standard (Standard) is a set of science-based minimum performance standards created by the American Public Health Association and NCHH for safe and healthy homes. The Standard features healthy home requirements and stretch provisions in seven key categories, with explanations for each provision about its public health rationale, along with references for more information. It integrates public health information into housing code parlance. The Standard is a tool for property owners, elected officials, code staff, and anyone concerned about housing’s interaction with health. [url; NCHH, 2014]

Policy Surveillance Program
The Policy Surveillance Program, a national program at Temple University funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a resource for the systematic collection, measurement and display of statutes, regulations, court decisions, and other legal policies that matter to health. Identified public health topics containing interactive maps of particular relevance to healthy homes issues include environmental health, housing, and social determinants of health and health disparities. [url; Temple University Beasley School of Law]