HUD: 2019 Winners of Healthy Homes Award Announced

Model programs in Rochester, New York and South Carolina earn HUD Secretary’s Award

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) today announced that two model programs are recipients of the HUD Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes, an award recognizing excellence in making indoor environments healthier for residents. The awards were presented today at NEHA’s 2019 Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee.

For the fifth consecutive year, HUD and NEHA identified outstanding local programs that promote public housing/multifamily housing, and policy and education innovation. This year’s recipients are:

  1. City of Rochester, New York, Certificate of Occupancy and Lead Inspection Program (Policy and Education Innovation)
  2. Partnership between the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists in South Carolina and HUD Multifamily Program

“HUD congratulates these recipients for the diverse nature of their programs,” said HUD Secretary Benjamin Carson. “These programs demonstrate the power of partner driven approaches and need for holistic action that lead to real changes in underserved communities. This kind of collaboration across different disciplines can address health and safety related problems before they negatively impact our residents, especially children.”

HUD partners with NEHA based on creating healthier homes environments for residents, by working across the housing, health, and environmental sectors. The award, initiated in 2015, showcases results achieved under housing and indoor environmental health programs. Nominations were submitted by regional, city and county governments, healthcare and housing providers, advocacy organizations, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and trade associations, among others.

The criteria for the awards include measurability, health impact on population, economic sustainability, policy/program innovation, impact on physical environment, and partnership/collaboration. A panel of volunteer judges from NEHA evaluated entries. For more information about the award process, please visit NEHA’s website at https://www.neha.org/about-neha/awards.

Next year’s awards will be presented during the NEHA Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition. For more information about HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, please visit www.hud.gov/healthyhomes.

The awardees’ project summaries are below:

City of Rochester, New York Certificate of Occupancy and Lead Inspection Program

The City of Rochester has a long history of adopting and implementing proactive code enforcement programs. Two programs that have had the greatest impact on the health and safety of residents are the Renewable Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) Program and the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Ordinance.  These programs, when combined with the efforts of the City’s community partners, have reduced the number of children with elevated blood levels by 99% since 1994 and by 85% since the adoption of the lead ordinance in 2005. This has made a measurable difference in the lives of Rochester’s children. 

Partnership Between American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) in South Carolina and HUD Multifamily Program 

The partnership between the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, a non-profit organization, and the HUD Multifamily Program involved implementing and strengthening the HUD Office of Multifamily Development Radon Policy issued in 2013. The policy is a vital component of the multifamily program at HUD, enjoying strong support from radon professionals and other stakeholders. Since its issuance, AARST and HUD Multifamily have partnered multiple times to educate HUD personnel, radon professionals, lenders and other stakeholders about the policy and how it can best be implemented, through webinars, articles in publications, presentations at conferences, and other methods.

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