WASHINGTON--()--On Monday, February 4th, the federal Healthy Homes Work Group (HHWG) launched Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action during an event at the National Building Museum. The Strategy lays out the goals and priorities of HHWG to advance healthy housing initiatives for the next three to five years nationwide. The event featured leaders from the six federal agencies who make up HHWG, as well as non-profit partners focused on energy, health, and housing issues.
“There are some amazing benefits that occur when Weatherization Plus Health and the WAP network join forces with these important partners. Together they ensure healthier, safer homes, and create better environments in which families can thrive.”
Speakers highlighted goals including: establish and encourage adoption of federally-recognized criteria for healthy homes, create and support training and workforce development to address health hazards in housing, educate the public about healthy homes, and support research that informs and advances healthy housing in a cost-effective manner. The Strategy’s ultimate objective is to reduce the number of American households living with dangerous health and safety conditions. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced at the event new radon testing and mitigation requirements to specifically target the threat of radon in the nation’s housing stock.
Since 2010, the Weatherization Plus Health initiative, implemented by the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has led the effort to coordinate federal agencies and client services across programs to ensure the health and safety of America’s homes. The initiative has provided critical information, tools, and resources to the DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which enters more low-income homes than any other program, and healthy homes networks to integrate services and address homes holistically. More than 3,500 members of the Weatherization and Healthy Homes networks have participated in Weatherization Plus Health training events, helping to promote implementation of this initiative on the ground. Weatherization Plus Health looks forward to continuing its work with the HHWG and its partners to advance healthy housing for all Americans. To view Weatherization Plus Health resources and success stories, please visit WxPlusHealth.org.
Steve Payne, NASCSP Board President and a State Weatherization Director in Washington, asserts, “There are some amazing benefits that occur when Weatherization Plus Health and the WAP network join forces with these important partners. Together they ensure healthier, safer homes, and create better environments in which families can thrive.”
In 2012, Weatherization Plus Health launched WxPlusHealth.org to connect families and practitioners with much-needed services to reduce home health hazards and energy costs. The website provides the first comprehensive, searchable inventory of WAP agencies, healthy homes providers, and other service providers across the United States. By identifying partners and combining efforts, agencies can provide more comprehensive services while stretching each dollar to its fullest, resulting in savings for the recipients, the providers, and the taxpayers.
NASCSP is a professional association whose members are state administrators of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Services Block Grant and U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program.