Healthy Homes Action Needed

Thanks to you the Healthy Homes and Communities legislation (HF 1445/SF 1272) is in the House and Senate omnibus appropriations bills.  A conference committee of House and Senate members will meet soon to negotiate a final bill.  They will need to hear from supporters over their break.

Key legislators to contact now are:  Sens. Cohen & Lourey,  Reps. Huntley & Carlson – ask that they fully fund the Healthy Homes & Communities bill because of the difference you have seen it make in the lives of children, families and communities.  Feel free to share a story.

Thank the chief authors of the bill Sen. Jeff Hayden and Rep. Karen Clark for their hard work to make our homes and communities healthier.

Senators can be contacted through this link:  www.senate.mn  House members  can be contacted through www.house.mn

HF 1445/ SF 1272 will:

  • create public health capacity to address housing-based health threats such as lead, radon, and environmental asthma triggers by funding an education/training program,
  • provide grants to local public health agencies, CAP agencies and non profit organizations to reduce hazards in homes, and
  • secure resources for MDH to coordinate agencies/programs, evaluate outcomes, and provide technical assistance.

Feel free to share this information with your networks and colleagues.  Please contact Jodi Nelson jodi.nelson@state.mn.us with any questions.

Alliance Mini Grantees Overview

The Alliance for Healthy Homes and Communities awarded ten mini grants for projects that have innovative strategies to improve the health, housing and well being of Minnesotans.Thanks to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation for making these grants possible.

Alliance for Sustainability Integrate healthy homes education and behavior change into the 10 suburban Living Green Fairs.
American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest Provide in-depth training for agencies in St. Louis and Carlton counties on environmental assessment for Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control activities.
Cycles for Change Organize youth-led weekly rides to encourage healthy transportation choices.
Ecolibrium3 Educate homeowners on environmental problems in the home that can impact health and how to mitigate them.
Headwaters Regional Development Commission Educate homeowners on safe and healthy homes and provide resources for improvements.
Project Sweetie Pie Pilot Youth Cafe celebrating a summer of Gardens Galore, the seeding of North Minneapolis through scattered community gardens.
Rebuilding Together Twin Cities Work with the Hmong community to keep families safe in their homes.
Spring Lake Park Fire Department Organize a community event at Scotland Green Apartments to educate residents, provide safety equipment, and create a safer environment.
The Sierra Club North Star Chapter Create Citizen Summits that will increase effective citizen advocacy for transit oriented development.
Wadena County Public Health Organize an event with local rental property owners and managers to build relationships and information on healthy rental properties.

For greater details, please see mini grantee updates below.

 

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.

Ecolibrium3