316,000 low income homes made healthy, safe and energy efficient
Atlanta, GA – The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) and five key partners were recognized for collectively working to fulfill its 2012 Commitment to Action to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America to increase access to healthy, safe and energy efficient homes in America’s low income communities. In 2012, GHHI, supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Council on Foundations, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, U.S. Conference of Mayors and Open Society, set forth a Commitment to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental health hazards that exacerbate lead poisoning, asthma and injury in 25,000 homes and expand GHHI’s work to 25 U.S. communities. Adoption of the program design advanced by GHHI, according to HUD, resulted in 316,712 homes being healthier, safer and more energy efficient.
In 2012, the GHHI Commitment was presented to the members of the CGI America Housing Recovery Working Group, charged with propelling cross-sector approaches to respond to the complex challenges surrounding distressed residential properties. Highlighted today at the sixth annual CGI America meeting in Atlanta, this 12 fold increase over GHHI’s original Commitment to Action demonstrates the success of the GHHI model to integrate health, rehabilitation and weatherization/energy efficiency improvements. In advancing work on this commitment, GHHI helped to support the specialized training, retention and employment of 1,600 individuals.
“Results from implementation of the GHHI model in 25 sites and in HUD funded programs nationwide show significant savings in healthcare costs and energy consumption, as well as improved neighborhood stabilization, increased wealth retention for families due to lower energy and maintenance bills,” said GHHI President and CEO Ruth Ann Norton. “Through our work, we have seen hospitalizations for asthma reduced by over 65 percent and extraordinary reductions in lead poisoning. By improving the health of homes, we significantly reduce cost for health care and special education and improve the stability of families – increasing a child’s ability to get to the classroom healthy and ready to learn and reducing the ill-effects unhealthy housing has on our seniors. We are grateful for CGI America’s commitment to catalyzing the discussions that help us find innovative solutions that will improve the quality of life for millions of Americans and find ways to fund what works.”
The State of Unhealthy Housing in America: Addressing housing-related health challenges has significant economic implications. American taxpayers lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year in medical bills, skyrocketing energy costs and lost wages due to inefficient and unhealthy housing conditions. Total annual costs for unhealthy housing related childhood environmental diseases are estimated to be $54.9 billion: $43.4 billion for lead poisoning, $2.0 billion for asthma, $3 billion for childhood cancer, and $9.2 billion for neurobehavioral disorders. In addition, 13 million preventable home injuries cause $222 billion in medical costs annually that disproportionally impact the elderly.
About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), formerly the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, replaces stand-alone programs with a comprehensive strategy to improve health, economic and social outcomes for children, families and seniors through a proven integrated housing intervention framework. GHHI work is centered on effective service delivery, policy change and developing sustainable funding mechanisms to support the creation of healthy, safe and energy efficient homes.
In addition to its direct service programs, GHHI’s work includes technical assistance and capacity building for the field; training, economic analysis and policy and standards development; and sustainable funding for the creation of healthy, safe and energy efficient homes for low income communities. GHHI is currently leading national efforts to build the case for Medicaid investment in evidenced-based healthy housing interventions as well as the development of Pay for Success/Social Impact Bonds.
Twenty-five communities have adopted the GHHI platform: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, Lewiston-Auburn, Marin County, Memphis, New Haven, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Rhode Island, Salt Lake, San Antonio, Springfield, Staten Island and Syracuse.
About Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people.