August 22, 2012

Mayor Johnson Brings Green & Healthy Homes Initiative to Jackson

A citywide partnership takes a step forward in ensuring green, safe and healthy homes for residents

Jackson, MS (August 22, 2012) – Mayor Harvey Johnson today announced the launch of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) in the City of Jackson. Jackson joins 14 other cities nationally that have received GHHI designation, which works to ensure that all housing intervention programs meet a healthy, energy efficient and safe standard to promote better health, economic and social outcomes for children and families from low income neighborhoods.

Joining Mayor Johnson today at the GHHI-Jackson kickoff event were representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Foundation for the Mid South, and the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, the national nonprofit that created and directs GHHI.

At the event, the Coalition awarded the City of Jackson a $100,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations to support the program’s launch. Funds will be used to provide workforce training for community residents and pay for housing interventions to reduce asthma, lead poisoning and injuries, while promoting energy efficiency measures. These funds match a grant from the US Conference of Mayors to support the Initiative.

Through GHHI, the city will work with partner organizations, including: Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi Development Authority, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Habitat for Humanity/Metro Jackson, Mississippi Housing Partnership, Entergy Mississippi, and Atmos Energy among many others to make its housing stock more energy efficient, safer, and healthier.

“I am excited that the City of Jackson is becoming a GHHI site. A blueprint for cross-sector collaboration, GHHI will create significant, proven cost savings for the City of Jackson and State ofMississippi, local community organizations and families while producing energy efficient, healthy and safe homes for children,” said Mayor Johnson.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jackson as the 15th city in the national GHHI network,” said Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. “Through GHHI, we are forging a cost-effective approach to creating healthier homes in the communities of greatest need and providing new opportunities for residents of those communities to build the skills they need to be part of the green economy. Through this coordinated partnership, and with Mayor Johnson’s leadership, Jackson’s children will be healthier, better able to perform well in school and have a greater opportunity to reach their full potential.”

HUD estimates that GHHI’s first 3500 homes will save more than $325 million in energy and health care costs and improve the quality of life for children and families. The work in the current 15 GHHI sites has achieved over 20 percent savings in home repair costs; annual energy cost reductions of $450 per household and significant reductions in asthma related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

“I applaud the City of Jackson on the important step taken today to improve the health, economic and social outcomes for their most vulnerable citizens,” said Marty Nee, director, Regional Management/Technical Services Division at HUD, Office of Healthy Homes/Lead Hazard Control. “Implementing the collaborative GHHI platform will enable city departments, and their community and nonprofit partners, to more effectively and efficiently deliver integrated health and housing services to low-income residents,” continued Nee.

Jackson joins the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, New Haven, Oakland, Philadelphia, Providence and San Antonio in implementing GHHI to begin integrating health and housing programs to better serve their communities. Through this national network, Jackson will help to inform changes in standards for federal and philanthropic investments to advance healthier housing.

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About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

The National Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), as program of the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, is a partnership between the federal government, national and local philanthropy, and local partners to implement a cost-effective and integrated approach to housing interventions by aligning, braiding, and coordinating investments in weatherization, energy efficiency, health and safety. GHHI replaces stand-alone programs with a comprehensive and seamless process that creates safer and more stable homes, improves the health of children and families and produces higher-quality green jobs. GHHI is setting a new standard for policies and practices to create more sustainable, affordable and healthier homes. There are currently 15 GHHI project sites nationwide – 13 cities and two Native American Tribes – with more sites to be added over the next year.

About the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning

The National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning is a national 501c3 non-profit organization that creates, implements, and promotes programs and policies to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and further healthy homes. The Coalition was originally founded in 1986 as Parents Against Lead, a grassroots volunteer effort. Today, the Coalition is a nationally recognized policy, advocacy and direct service organization headquartered in Baltimore. The Coalition’s services extend throughout the states of Maryland and Delaware, as well as St. Louis and Miami. The organization also provides advisory services to organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

media inquiries

For more information about the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative or to arrange an interview with our President & CEO Ruth Ann Norton, members of the media should contact:

ghhi@berlinrosen.com