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September 17, 2012
Welcome to the new online home of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI)! This new site is designed to be an easy-to-access source of information for anyone interested in helping to create healthy, safe and energy efficient homes. Whether you are a parent, physician, researcher, contractor, health or housing advocate or homeowner, our new site has something for you.
The launch of www.ghhi.org in many ways represents the evolution of our work over the past 25 years. We started as a volunteer grassroots group of Baltimore parents whose children had been poisoned by the lead paint in their homes, the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning soon grew into a full-service statewide organization. From 1993 until 2010, the Coalition led the efforts in Maryland to create over 500,000 lead-safe homes and reduce childhood lead poisoning in this state by over 98 percent. It was through this work that we came to understand that reducing lead hazards was not enough.
In response to the growing need for a comprehensive approach to improve health outcomes and stabilize communities, the Coalition launched GHHI in 2009 to integrate home-based environmental health hazard intervention services with energy efficiency and weatherization efforts. By doing so, GHHI has led national efforts to demonstrate the tremendous health, economic and social benefits of investing in healthy housing.
By reducing lead and asthma in homes, kids are better prepared to go to and stay in school and succeed in the classroom, and parents miss less work caring for ailing children. By addressing these health and safety issues, homes are better equipped to be weatherized and produce additional cost savings for families, helping to stabilize older neighborhoods. In addition, community-based workers trained to comprehensively address energy, health and safety issues in homes have opportunities for better paying jobs. Needless to say, we believe this work, when fully implemented nationally has the potential to save taxpayers billions of dollars.
It has become clear to us that to best serve the 6 million families burdened with unhealthy homes across the United States, we must continue on this path. So, as reflected by the launch of our new site, our organization’s work will be led by the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative – but the Coalition and its standard of excellence will remain a core part of our foundation.
This new path does not change our deep commitment to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. We will continue to advocate for the changes that are needed in public policy, laws and regulations to achieve our mission to break the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy children.