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.
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Did You Know...

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

Resources

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. 

Join the Healthy Homes Team! Job Openings.

Healthy Homes has a number of job openings. We will be hiring an Administrative Assistant to begin work July 1 or sooner. We are also taking resumes for a Public Relations position and a Community Organizing position, with projected start dates in July.  All positions are full time.

 


Healthy Homes Issues Lead In Water Report

The Healthy Homes Coalition partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund in 2016 to take a deep look into the safety of drinking water in Grand Rapids. Specifically, the groups were interested in knowing if street reconstruction including the replacement of water mains was posing any danger to the residents of Grand Rapids. In other cities, this kind of construction has been known to raise the content of lead in water above safe levels. Could the same be said of Grand Rapids


Michigan Legislature Considers Lead Appropriations and Policy

While much of the media coverage about the Flint water crisis has died down, there is much activity in Lansing in regards to childhood lead poisoning. Most notable at this time is the Governor's request for $2 million in funding for the newly formed Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission. This request is working its way through the legislature, with the House and the Senate both offering different perspectives. There are also six bills that have been introduced to address lead exposure.