What is a Healthy Home?

According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, a healthy home is housing that is designed, constructed, maintained, and rehabilitated in a manner that is conducive to good occupant health

Healthy housing is important for everyone, whether you own or rent your home. The Healthy Homes Coalition is especially concerned with how these threats impact children's health and wellbeing.  Click here to find out how the Healthy Homes Coalition can help you and your family.

The Healthy Homes Coalition affirms the Seven Principles of a Healthy Home and starts with people in mind.  This means that our assessments take into consideration the habits and behaviors of those who live in the home, and solutions must be sustainable for both those who live in and own the home.  

If you own your home, Healthy Homes can help you assess your home and connect you with resources to make it healthier.  If you rent, Healthy Homes can work with you on strategies that tenants can take with or without the landlord's cooperation.


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.

Did You Know...

Carbon monoxide poisoning deprives the body of oxygen and can quickly lead to death.


A Guide to a Healthy Home(2.5 MB)

A guide from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Finding a Healthy Home(393 KB)

A checklist of things to look for when shopping for a home or apartment. 

Lifting Parent Voices, The COFI Way

Every second Monday of the month at 5pm, the conference room at the Healthy Homes Coalition fills up with parents. They file in, greet each other warmly and find their usual seats.

Over a quick dinner, weekly stories are swapped and pictures are shared as parents catch up. Parents for Healthy Homes meetings are part support group, part advocacy work, part leadership training class, and all parent connection.

The leadership training component is a result of our relationship with Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), a nonprofit organization based out of Chicago which connects parents to one another, helping turn their voices in actionable change.  COFI was created in 1995, with former community organizer Barack Obama as a founding member.


Why Parent Voices Matter More

Two stories featuring parents who are fighting to end childhood lead poisoned were told in local news this past week.

These two stories represent the voices of parents whose children are directly affected by the threat of lead poisoning in the community. They are just two of thousands more in the city.

Asthma: The Overlooked Housing Hazard

While efforts to fix lead paint hazards in Grand Rapids are currently in process and in the news, it’s important to remember that asthma is another major health concern for children in the city.

(Photo Credit: PracticalCures.com)