What is a Healthy Home?

As a landlord who owns older housing, you probably already know some of the potential financial and legal risks related to hazardous lead-based paint. The Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan wants your business to succeed and can help you protect your tenants and your investment! We help landlords develop and implement specific strategies to address lead poisoning, pests, asthma triggers, carbon monoxide, and radon concerns in their rental units. This website has plenty of specific information to help you provide safe, healthy housing that limits the risk to your investment.

 

The Seven Principles of a Healthy Home

  1. KEEP IT DRY - Moisture in homes has been linked to a wide range of health problems, from respiratory problems to lead poisoning, from accidental injury to asthma.  Moisture creates a favorable environment for mites, rodents, molds, and roaches, all of which are associated with asthma.
  2. KEEP IT CLEAN - A clean home helps ensure that people are not exposed to contaminants and chemicals, and that pests don’t have food, water, and a place to live.
  3. KEEP IT PEST-FREE - Studies show that there is a causal relationship between mice and cockroach exposure and asthma episodes in children with asthma.  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) addresses the issue of pests holistically, without using toxic pesticides.
  4. KEEP IT SAFE - Most childhood injuries occur at home.  Falls, poisoning, and burns are the three most common residential injuries for children.
  5. KEEP IT CONTAMINATE-FREE - Homes have many potential contaminant exposure risks, including lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide, and asbestos.  Children are more likely to be exposed to lead, radon, asbestos, tobacco smoke and other toxicants in higher concentration in the home than outside.
  6. KEEP IT VENTILATED - Studies show that respiratory health is related to access to fresh air, increasing a home’s fresh air supply reduces moisture, improves air quality, and increases respiratory health.
  7. KEEP IT MAINTAINED - Neglected homes are more at risk for moisture, pest, lead paint and accidental injury than homes that are properly maintained.
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Did You Know...

The Healthy Homes Coalition can help parents and landlords test their homes for radon and provide guidance on how to make repairs.

Making the Invisible Visible

What the Eyes Don't See is the title of Flint heroine Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s book about the Flint water crisis. It’s an appropriate title for a book where behind the scenes dealing resulted in thousands of children ingesting lead through their drinking water. However, it's also an accurate statement when it comes to children being poisoned by lead in communities like Grand Rapids that have long had safe drinking water.

We need to be able to see lead. The technology to measure lead in the environment has existed for decades.  This technology needs to be used to stop kids from hurting. Learn five specific ways to make invisible lead hazards visible.

 


Good Process + Great People = Healthy Kids

Did you know that the Healthy Homes Coalition is the number one source of referrals for the Get the Lead Out!  home repair program? It’s no surprise given the expert work of Jackie Hernandez, our Community Connections Coordinator.  

Executive Director Paul Haan will tell you it is Jackie Hernandez, our Community Connections Coordinator, is making it happen. “Jackie is unapologetic in her passion for helping kids and families succeed. Whether it’s her role as a Godfrey Lee school board member or her work at Healthy Homes, Jackie is 100% prepared to take action for her community!”


Healthy Homes in the News

Parents, a Healthy Homes Coalition board member, and staff were all featured on a Michigan Radio news story. We are sharing it here in case you missed it.

In the words of one of Healthy Homes’ newest board members, grandparent Lisa Matthews, "“People think (lead) is a small problem, but it’s a very big problem. I know it takes time to do something about it … I’m just sayin’ what are we going to do now?”

Healthy Homes is eager to begin working with the City and community partners to implement the solutions recommended in this report.