June is National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM), an initiative designed to spread awareness about the important connection between homes and the health of individuals, families, and communities. Created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH), this year’s theme is “Check Your Home: Protect Your Family.” This theme was chosen in order to create an understanding of what it means to have a healthy home by educating families of the importance of assessing one’s home for potential health hazards; and to empower people to make change in order to create the healthiest home possible for their family.
NASCSP is excited to celebrate National Healthy Homes Month! Both the WAP and CSBG networks promote health and safety among families with low-incomes through their work in communities across the country. The WAP in particular has a direct connection to healthy homes. The statute creating the WAP describes the program’s purpose: “To reduce energy costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.”
Traditional WAP measures have been proven to provide energy efficiency, health, and safety benefits. According the WAP’s 2015 evaluation performed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, every DOE WAP dollar resulted in $4.50 in benefits – $1.72 in energy savings and $2.78 in health and safety. The total health and household-related benefits for each unit was found to be $14,148. By providing families with more livable homes, individuals missed fewer days of work and school due to sick days or injuries, had fewer asthma and allergy symptoms, had fewer hospitalizations, and ultimately saved $514 on average in out of pocket medical expenses.
Using DOE funds, LIHEAP funds, and leveraged funds from other sources, WAP programs regularly address mold, moisture, asbestos, lead, and other health hazards. Additionally, States are increasingly moving to an even more comprehensive Weatherization Plus Health approach, designed to go beyond the health and safety measures traditionally included in WAP. These include features such as grab bars, non-slip mats, new carpet, air purification systems, green cleaning kits, dust mite covers, and more. Learn about some of the WAP network’s recent Weatherization plus Health Efforts below:
Additionally, you can read some of the research on the health and safety benefits of weatherization and energy efficiency here:
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory- Health and Household-Related Benefits Attributable to the Weatherization Assistance Program
- Department of Energy- Home Rx: The Health Benefits of Home Performance
- Three3- Massachusetts Low-income Single-Family Health- and Safety-Related Non-Energy Impacts (NEIs) Study
- E4 The Future- Occupant Health Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency
Still, data shows that the need for healthy housing in the US is immense. According to the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative in Baltimore, MD nearly 9 million families across the nation live in unhealthy, energy inefficient homes, leading to $82.4 billion in healthcare costs nationwide. National Healthy Homes Month was established to focus national attention on ways to improve healthy housing by providing awareness of federal and local resources available to homes in need, empower families to take action, and encourage local health and safety events and programming.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has developed a National Healthy Homes Month Digital Resource Toolkit and an events calendar in order to coordinate and assist with your efforts this month. NASCSP also has Weatherization Plus Health resources, including social media templates and infographics below.
You can utilize the pre-made social media posts below for Facebook and Twitter. Consider combining any of the posts with infographics found at the bottom of the page.
From the HUD Toolkit:
Celebrate #NationalHealthyHomesMonth this June by following @HUDgov and spreading the awareness of federal and local resources available to promote #HealthyHomes in our communities. #NHHM2018
This month is #NationalHealthyHomesMonth, dedicated to raising awareness about the important connections between our homes and our health. #NHHM2018
In the U.S., more than one million children age five and under are poisoned each year as a result of the condition of their household. Children need #HealthyHomes. #NHHM2018
The number of children with asthma has doubled in the past 10 years. 1 in 15 children under 18 years of age has asthma. Children need #HealthyHomes. #NHHM2018.
Radon is the second main cause of lung cancer in the US. You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home! Check Your Home; Protect Your Family! Get the facts: www.hud.gov/healthyhomes #NHHM2018
The #EnergyEfficiency upgrades of #WAP have been shown to reduce indoor air contaminants linked to chronic illness such as asthma. #WeatherizationWorks #NHHM2018
Weatherization provides homes with enhanced ventilation, reducing asthma triggers like moisture, mold, and dust. Higher air quality is linked to fewer respiratory risks and chronic illnesses. #NHHM2018 #WxPlusHealth #WeatherizationWorks
#DYK: Oak Ridge National Lab evaluation found every $1 DOE WAP dollar results in $4.50 in benefits – $1.72 in energy savings and $2.78 in health and safety. #WeatherizationWorks #NHHM2018 #WxPlusHealth
After #WAP, weatherized homes are healthier & safer. Adults missed fewer days of work and children missed fewer days of school #WeatherizationWorks #WxPlusHealth #NHHM2018
A #HealthyHome is an #EnergyEfficient home! Research shows that #EnergyEfficieny results in health and safety benefits. Read more here: (Insert Link to Research found in blog post above)
Do you know the health benefits of #WAP? (Insert an infographic found in section below)
This June is National Healthy Homes Month, a national outreach campaign initiated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This campaign is designed to focus national attention on the ways to keep people of all ages safe and healthy in their homes and is aimed at boosting awareness and understanding of what federal and local resources are available to assist these efforts. This year’s theme “Check Your Home; Protect Your Family” was chosen to create healthy homes by educating families on the importance of assessing their living spaces for potential health hazards and empowering individuals to make change and take action. Celebrate #NationalHealthyHomesMonth today! #NHHM2018 (Insert link to HUD toolkit)
According the the WAP’s 2015 evaluation by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, every DOE WAP dollar resulted in $4.50 in benefits – $1.72 in energy savings and $2.78 in health and safety. By providing families with more livable homes, individuals missed fewer days of work and school due to sick days or injuries, had fewer asthma and allergy symptoms, fewer hospitalizations, and ultimately saved $514 on average in out of pocket medical expenses. (Insert link to Oak Ridge Study)
It’s National Healthy Homes Month! #Weatherization impacts health and safety, ensuring homes are not only more energy efficient, but also more livable. #WAP is an integral part of the #HealthyHomes solution! #WxPlusHealth #WeatherizationWorks
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that asthma alone costs the U.S. $56 billion per year. #WAP mitigates asthma triggers such as mold by improving ventilation. #Weatherization is key to making our homes healthier, safer, and more energy efficient. (Insert an infographic found in section below)
You can download any of the graphics below by right-clicking and selecting “save as” OR use this Dropbox link.