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. 

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.


Join the Healthy Homes Team!

The Healthy Homes Coalition is looking for a Community Organizer to support Parents for Healthy Homes as they advance equity and safety for our kids by promoting policies, investments, and systems that put an end to substandard housing for Grand Rapids families.


Spotlight: Lisa's Peer Education visits take off!

Lisa Matthews' reputation as a connected community member precedes her - she has been helping her neighbors get access to, and navigate, area resources for years.  Among the important community work Lisa dedicates her time to, she has made providing her neighbors with lead education visits as a community educator one of her priorities.  She has been instrumental in helping the peer education group she is a member of complete 44 peer-to-peer lead education visits in a matter of months...