Healthy Housing Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
State and local organizations are leading significant advances in healthy housing programs. There is a need to translate lessons learned and successes between jurisdictions and to inform national best practices. Similarly, there is much healthy housing activity underway at the national level that could benefit state and local practitioners. Since 1992, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) has worked to build the capacity of states and localities to support healthy homes efforts by disseminating evidence-based best practices, providing training, developing new tools, fostering partnerships, and enabling peer-to-peer learning.
NCHH supported six state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations through its Healthy Housing Capacity Building and Technical Assistance initiative, which was supported through a subcontract from the American Public Health Association (APHA) and funded through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and APHA.
This initiative provided technical assistance (TA) and/or capacity building to solve a specific challenge or barrier to advancing healthy housing. Successful applicants received the following:
- 50 hours of TA from NCHH staff over a period of up to six months (between early December 2012 and May 31, 2013);
- One site visit (if needed) from NCHH staff to provide in-person TA and support;
- Opportunity to participate in four “learning network” webinars with other program participants. These meetings provided targeted trainings, highlighted relevant opportunities for healthy homes, and shared new research.
Recipients of the Healthy Housing Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Initiative
City of Rockford, Illinois, Rockford, Illinois
The City of Rockford is working to broaden their community’s capacity to address healthy homes by making most strategic use of a variety of programs, including weatherization, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) rehabilitation, lead abatement, and others. Additionally, the City of Rockford sought to expand their knowledge of additional resources and strategies to address healthy homes. NCHH TA supported the City of Rockford in developing a community-wide approach to targeting, leveraging, and blending resources to support healthy homes efforts in their community.
Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Inc., Centereach, New York
The Long Island region faced unprecedented housing needs, both for short term emergency housing and long-term rebuilding, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. NCHH TA assisted the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Inc. (CDCLI) in its flood recovery efforts to ensure that homes were cleaned and rehabilitated in a manner that protects health. NCHH TA also assisted CDCLI in its efforts to incorporate healthy homes elements into its retrofit and reconstruction standards, including addressing mold-related issues.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York City (LISC NYC), New York, New York
Two Shades of Green (TSG) is a collaborative model to integrate green, healthy and cost effective measures into affordable housing. NCHH TA supported Two Shades of Green’s organizational and funding development, strategic partnership creation, and tools to track impact, outcomes, and program evaluation. This project provided an opportunity to develop replicable best practices for the incorporation of healthy homes strategies into procedures of community development corporations (CDCs), and developing a system to track the outcomes of these initiatives.
New Opportunities, Inc., Waterbury, Connecticut
New Opportunities, Inc. conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) to examine the potential health impacts of incorporating various health and safety components into federally and utility company-funded energy upgrades in homes across Connecticut. The HIA was used to inform a best practice approach to the State of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authorities’ three-year plan for its weatherization and energy efficiency program. NCHH TA supported data analysis components of the HIA, the development of a communications plan to disseminate HIA findings, and the elevation of the HIA findings and process as a national model.
Opportunity Council, Bellingham, Washington
The Opportunity Council is working to establish strategic relationships with the philanthropic and healthcare sectors in order to prepare Whatcom County to obtain the Safe and Healthy Homes Investment Partnership (SHHIP) certification. NCHH TA supported the Opportunity Council in developing a strategy for engaging with these new partners, including developing materials that better communicate the impacts of Opportunity Council programs, and identifying opportunities and mechanisms for collaboration.
Oregon Health Authority, Portland, Oregon
The Oregon Health Authority is working to develop a more effective and collaborative system to address unsafe and unhealthy housing in Oregon. NCHH TA assisted the Oregon Health Authority in establishing and strengthening partnerships with their statewide building/housing code agency as well as the healthcare sector, specifically through the state’s newly created coordinated care organizations (CCOs). Additionally, NCHH TA supported the Oregon Health Authority and its advisory group as they finalized their statewide healthy homes strategic plan.
- About the NCHH Team [pdf]
- Two Shades of Green: Saving Money and Protecting Public Health in Affordable Housing [pdf]