Ecolibrium3: Translating Healthy Homes

Under a mini-grant from the Alliance for Healthy Homes, Ecolibrium3, a Duluth-based nonprofit organization is creating customer friendly healthy homes reporting to accompany their current energy audit reports.  Over the past two years, Ecolibrium3 has audited over 600 homes in northeastern Minnesota.

“Our goal is to help people make their homes more healthy and comfortable through integrating energy improvements with best healthy homes practices” said Ecolibrium3 CEO Jodi Slick.  “The Alliance has helped us translate what may seem complicated, into easily understood assistance for our residents.”

Under the mini-grant, Ecolibrium3 has taken the HUD Healthy Homes Inspection report, which utilizes a complex matrix of statistics to project the potential of a structure to cause future illness or injury, and combined it with narrative action steps.  “HUD focuses on the structure.” Slick said, “Our work is attempting to integrate the structural with the behavioral by showing residents the potential health impacts associated with how they are using their homes. This includes items like tripping hazards, indoor smoking, and cleanliness.”

Creating clear action steps for homeowners became a priority for Ecolibrium3 when they worked with 150 low-income families that were flooded in June 2012. “When you walk people through disaster recovery, you really get to understand how housing systems and homeowner behaviors interact to create positive or negative health results.” Slick said.

Ecolibrium3 is currently piloting the report with test clients. A copy of the reporting format and action narratives are expected to be available to Alliance members by the end of December.



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