History and Accomplishments, 2000-2009
During this decade, the Center would join those recognizing that homes with lead paint problems typically posed several other health threats as well; they argued that addressing these hazards separately was both ineffective and inefficient. As a result, the National Center for Lead-Safe Housing was renamed the National Center for Healthy Housing in 2001. NCHH significantly expanded the scope of its mission during this decade; however, its core values remained fundamentally unchanged: to find proven, practical, and cost-effective ways of protecting families from home health hazards, especially those at highest risk in older, low-income homes.
NCHH launched a lead poisoning prevention training network in response to EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule. The mission was to ensure that RRP training would be widely available across the United States. NCHH trained more than 27,500 people from August 2009 through January 2014.
NCHH created the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition, composed of leading nonprofit and agency advocated in affordable housing, public health, environment, and energy efficiency.
NCHH released the results of its first State of Healthy Housing, a comprehensive ranking of housing conditions in 45 major metropolitan areas across the nation, showing a critical need to improve housing conditions in many U.S. cities.
NCHH hosted the first National Summit on Healthy Housing Policy and convened with 40 leading nonprofit partners to set a national action plan to achieve healthier housing in the United States.
NCHH completed the first scientific review of healthy homes interventions with CDC and published results in the report Housing Interventions and Health: A Review of the Evidence.
As the green building market exploded, NCHH released a report titled How Healthy Are National Green Building Programs? that explored the extent to which major national green building guidelines adequately protected residents from housing conditions known to affect health status.
NCHH created its second website, greatly expanding on the original website’s design and scope and integrating the once-separate Healthy Homes Training site.
In 2007, New York State began an innovative $3 million pilot initiative to curtail childhood lead poisoning dramatically in the state. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Initiative authorized health departments to gain access to high-risk homes for the purposes of education and inspection. Previously, health departments were only able to gain entry to a home if a child already diagnosed with an elevated blood lead level was known to reside there. This significant policy shift opened the door for health departments to take a more proactive and effective approach. Based on the promising results of the pilot, the Primary Prevention Initiative was declared a permanent program in 2009. Now funded at $10 million annually, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program consists of the 15 local health departments whose counties account for 80% of children under the age of six with newly identified BLLs of 10 µg/dL and above. NCHH provides ongoing technical assistance and evaluation support to the NYSDOH and to Primary Prevention Program grantees.
NCHH developed the Pediatric Environmental Home Assessment, an online training tool tailored for home visiting nurses and joined with the National Environmental Health Association to launch the Healthy Homes Specialist credential.
NCHH and its partners conceptualized the “one-touch” service delivery model in Boston to streamline and cost-effectively integrate the way we deliver programs for lead, asthma, injury prevention, and housing rehab.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast with property damage estimated at $81 billion. NCHH launched a Healthy Rebuilding Demonstration Project in New Orleans and developed a how-to guide, Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-Up of Flooded Homes.
NCHH launched the National Healthy Homes Training Center and Network to train public health, environmental health, and housing professionals in healthy housing principles. Under NCHH’s management, the Training Center trained over 21,000 individuals, expanded from an initial seven partners to more than 40, developed a healthy homes awareness video, launched a Healthy Homes Clearinghouse for online information about healthy homes, launched a new Healthy Homes Specialist Credential with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and developed a wide range of classroom and online courses.
NCHH helped to create 26 lead-safe and healthy childcare homes, housing more than 150 children, in upstate New York.
NCHH established Healthy Housing Solutions, the for-profit subsidiary was created to assist governmental and nongovernmental clients in developing, managing, and evaluating projects supporting the creation of healthier homes for all Americans. The subsidiary was created specifically to pursue federal small business set-aside contracts for which NCHH, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, would be ineligible, thereby extending the reach of NCHH’s mission. The subsidiary officially began operations on November 14, 2003, with Jackson Anderson serving as its president.
Following Nick Farr’s retirement, Rebecca Morley, MSPP, became NCHH’s second executive director in July. Ms. Morley had previously worked as a senior associate at ICF Consulting advising clients, including federal agencies, on lead poisoning prevention.
NCHH trained over 15,000 workers in lead-safe work practices to help implement and regulate in federally assisted housing with HUD sponsorship.
Recognizing the need and their capability to address more home hazards than lead-based paint, the NCHH board of directors opted to change the organization’s name from the National Center for Lead-Safe Housing to the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). The larger scale inferred by the change of the organization’s name allowed NCHH to expand the scope of its mission significantly; it would now focus not only on lead—still a major priority—but also other housing-related health hazards and causes, such as asthma, mold, and integrated pest management. Still, NCHH’s core values and priorities remained unchanged: to find proven, practical and cost-effective ways of protecting families from home health hazards, especially those at highest risk in older, low-income homes.
In a study conducted with the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, NCHH found that entry walk-off mats provided immediately after lead remediation is done may aid in preventing track-in of lead dust from untreated areas. NCHH recommended programs consider distributing mats after lead remediation, educating tenants about maintenance and periodic replacement to prevent mats from becoming exposure sources themselves.
HUD’s lead-based paint regulation for federally owned residential property and housing receiving federal assistance took effect. In response, the Center delivered technical assistance and training to 1,900 individuals in 37 cities on how to help implement the rule.