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Public Policy Impact

The Impact of GHHI’s effort can be felt at various policymaking levels.

Since the launch of the Federal Interagency Healthy Homes Work Group, GHHI has advised the group on best practices and policy recommendations. GHHI was cited in the Work Group’s report, “Leading Our Nation to Healthier Homes: The Healthy Homes Strategic Plan.” GHHI’s work was also promoted as a best practice in the White House report, “A New Way of Doing Business.” The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution supporting GHHI and our efforts to expand the nation’s stock of affordable, green, healthy and sustainable housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development incorporated GHHI principles into the general Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) that can provide points in competitive applications. One of the priorities is to increase energy efficiency and health and safety of homes, including comprehensive assessments and interventions.

GHHI has systematically altered the landscape of lead poisoning and healthy housing in Maryland by creating effective services and service delivery systems for families living in low income communities. One of the organization’s strengths is its ability to identify resources and create policies to overcome barriers to affordable, healthy and lead safe housing.

  • Maryland policy requiring the performance of specific lead safe standards and the passage of a lead dust clearance test prior to occupancy of any rental unit built before 1978
  • Requiring that all home repair and renovation jobs that fall under the auspices of the EPA’s Repair, Repainting and Renovation Rule must include the passage of a lead dust clearance test
  • Passage of the Maryland Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Law that requires all pre-1978 rental properties to register with the state and comply with lead safe repair and testing stands prior to occupancy as well as providing key rights to tenants for protection.
  • Requiring all children attending pre-school have proof they are screened for lead
  • Requiring universal testing of 1 and 2 year olds in Baltimore and other at-risk areas
  • Requiring paint retailers to post information on lead safe work practices
  • Allowing judges to require lead hazard control in response to rent escrow action
  • Prohibiting the collection of rent by landlords not in compliance with state law (“Clean Hands Bill”)
  • Closing dangerous loopholes in legislation regarding lead dust testing
  • Doubling fines for failure to comply with lead safe standards
  • Created interagency agreements that require all Section 8 units to comply with Maryland Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Law
  • Chaired Baltimore City enforcement task force for policy to reinstate the enforcement of health department lead violations
  • Authored “Windows of Opportunity” strategic plan resulting in $50 million toward lead poisoning prevention statewide and the Comprehensive State Action Plan in 2005 that created a relocation fund and set forth the need for lead dust testing.

Learn about the Green & Healthy Home Initiative’s legislative & policy accomplishments from 1994 until now.

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: or 443-842-5713.

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