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July 24, 2014
Lansing Partnership Signs Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Compact
A citywide partnership takes a step forward in ensuring green, safe and healthy homes for residents
Lansing, MI (July 24, 2014) – Local government and community partners signed an agreement today designed to boost efforts in Lansing, Michigan to improve health, economic and social outcomes for families, children and seniors. By signing the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative® (GHHI®) Compact, the partners formalized the city’s joint commitment to work toward the implementation of an integrated system that will deliver housing intervention programs for Lansing residents living in energy inefficient, unhealthy and unsafe housing. GHHI has proven to be an effective model of service delivery to families in need by lowering incidents of asthma and lead poisoning and improving children’s and families’ ability to thrive.
For years Lansing has had dedicated nonprofits, agencies, churches, community health, medical providers and other groups that have been helping households in need. GHHI Lansing represents a partnership among these groups and includes the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program, Michigan Environmental Council, Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Greater Lansing Housing Coalition, North Central Integrated Pest Management Center, Board of Water and Light, Rental Property Owners of Mid-Michigan and Sparrow Hospital. These groups are working to align existing program goals, braid current funding and coordinate their work to improve housing—and as a result, health outcomes of residents— in Lansing. The program will build local capacity to efficiently deliver comprehensive housing interventions and leverage existing resources to increase opportunities for impact in Lansing in an efficient, cost-effective way.
“We are thrilled to have Lansing as our 18th GHHI site and third location in Michigan,” said Ruth Ann Norton, President & CEO of GHHI. “We think investing our efforts in Michigan will help advance the adoption of our health-based housing model in the United States and improve the health, economic and social outcomes for families nationwide. We’d like to thank Michigan Energy Options, Public Sector Consultants and Action of Greater Lansing for their leadership in bringing such dynamic partners together to ensure GHHI Lansing’s success as it integrates its work with local health care providers, utilities and residents.”
“Lansing has been on a very good path in recent years with revitalizing our downtown and neighborhoods, having greener buildings and energy sources and creating a stronger local economy,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “But we still have too many children, families and seniors who live in housing that is not safe, not healthy and not energy efficient. And this is not acceptable.”
In the Michigan Avenue corridor, the average home age is nearly 100 years old—built decades before energy efficiency standards were developed for homes. More than 68% of the homes in Ingham County were built before 1978. Old homes also have a higher probability for health hazards such as lead paint, asbestos and asthma-inducing contaminants. In Ingham County, 3.3% of children under six have been diagnosed with lead poisoning.
With nearly 30% of the population living below the poverty level, Lansing continues to have asthma-related hospitalizations at a higher rate of the State as a whole (21.2 vs 16.6 per 10,000). More than 7% of children and 8.8% of adults in Ingram County suffer from asthma, and nationally 40% of asthma episodes are caused by triggers in the home.
“In a no-nonsense way, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative addresses the source of these troubles by improving the housing conditions of our low-income residents,” said Mayor Bernero. “It is an approach that has been showing great results in other communities around the country and one from which Lansing stands to benefit.”
About Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative® (GHHI®) is a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy residents. Formerly the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone housing intervention programs with an integrated, whole-house approach that produces sustainable green, healthy and safe homes. As a result, we are improving health, economic and social outcomes for families across the country.
With support from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Energy (DOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council on Foundations, and numerous philanthropic partners, GHHI serves as the national model for green and healthy homes interventions, and has produced 5,000 GHHI housing units nationwide. GHHI continues to increase its impact across 18 sites: Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, Jackson, Lansing, Lewiston Auburn, New Haven, Oakland, Philadelphia, Providence, Salt Lake, and San Antonio. Learn more at www.ghhi.org or follow us @HealthyHousing.