Equipping Communities for Action Through the National Lead Poisoning Prevention Network

Project Funder: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with additional support from The New York Community Trust.

Project Partners: Altarum, ChangeLab Solutions, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and the National League of Cities (NLC).

Project Contact: Laura Fudala, lfudala@nchh.org, 443.539.4167.

Project Description: In June 2019, as part of an ongoing effort to prevent and respond to childhood lead exposure, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) awarded grants to applicants from nine localities as part of its Equipping Communities for Action initiative. Under the initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with additional support from The New York Community Trust, the grantees each received 18 months of coaching and support including access to national experts, engagement in a peer learning network, a customized analysis calculating the cost of childhood lead exposure and the economic benefits of interventions, and a $25,000 grant.

The award recipients represent a range of communities in geographic location, community size, and level of readiness in achieving their lead poisoning prevention goals. The nine awardees are Central Maine Community Health/Healthy Androscoggin, the Childhood Lead Action Project, the City of Buffalo, the City of Paterson (Division of Health), Environmental Health Watch, the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, Legal Services of Central New York, Southern United Neighborhoods, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. Additional information on the individual 2019 grantees and their originally proposed activities is available on NCHH’s funding opportunity page.

These awarded projects have worked with the support of NCHH and a network of partners to build local capacity and advanced evidence-based lead poisoning prevention efforts through policy and systems change. Specific projects include activities to strengthen local policies and housing codes, increase enforcement of existing lead-safe work practice laws, implement proactive rental inspection requirements, create a local lead-safe housing directory, and intensify community engagement to activate local officials in supporting the development and implementation of proposed policy and systems changes.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 nationally and on the individual programs, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation extended the grant period two months beyond the originally proposed completion date for a resulting 20 months of coaching and support, and approved a redistribution of funds to increase the local awards to $27,500. The 2019 award recipients will complete their proposed activities by December 31, 2020.

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