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Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Receives $1.8 Million Foundation Grant to Expand Effective “Pay for Success” Program

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will double the number of cities developing home-based interventions to reduce asthma among children from low-income families

BALTIMORE, Md. December, 23, 2015 – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) a $1.8 million grant to expand GHHI’S innovative Pay for Success (PFS) program – focused on reducing childhood asthma through home-based interventions – to five U.S. cities and to support the organization’s operating capacity.

GHHI programs in these five cities will work with local health care organizations to advance and evaluate new models of funding home-based interventions that produce measurable outcomes such as reducing asthma-related hospitalizations, emergency department visits and missed school and work days. GHHI will provide ongoing technical support to these cities as they explore viable models of care.

GHHI’s first Pay for Success site launched in Baltimore in 2014, and is an ongoing partnership among GHHI, the Calvert Foundation and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Healthcare System. In 2015, GHHI and its partners replicated the Baltimore program in five other cities through a major grant from the federal Social Innovation Fund. This new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will allow GHHI to expand its program to five additional cities including the Bronx, NY, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rhode Island and Houston.

“We are honored to continue our relationship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and expand our work in Pay for Success as a means to scale effective programs to advance healthy housing,” said GHHI President and CEO Ruth Ann Norton. “Our partners around the country are working to develop viable approaches to reducing childhood asthma caused by poor-quality housing. Implementing proven, evidence-based measures will reduce hospitalizations, improve school attendance and strengthen parents’ ability to work.”

Seven million children in the United States suffer from asthma and research shows that 40 percent of asthma episodes are attributable to home-based environmental health hazards such as mold or pests.

The Robert Wood Johnson grant will support GHHI’s additional Pay for Success sites, where GHHI will work with the following partners: Affinity Health Plan, New York City, NY; UnitedHealthcare, Houston; Health Partners Plans, Philadelphia; Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket; and Presence Health, Chicago. With federal Social Innovation Fund support, GHHI previously launched similar efforts with partners in Buffalo, NY; Grand Rapids, MI; Memphis, TN; Salt Lake City; and Springfield, MA, to explore promising projects benefitting low-income children with asthma.

“GHHI’s Pay for Success program is demonstrating how a holistic approach can address the social determinants of health that so often hold back children from low-income families,” said Donald F. Schwarz, Vice President for Program, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “An important component is that the strategy works to engage healthcare providers to focus on proactive steps in homes to make them healthier and safer – and help children have the best opportunity to succeed in school.”

Working in more than two dozen cities, Baltimore-based GHHI is the nation’s largest organization focused on healthier housing. GHHI has worked for three decades to improve living conditions for children, families and seniors by making systemic home improvements that reduce the risks of lead-paint poisoning, asthma and other health hazards. GHHI’s efforts help low-income families by reducing in-home triggers for child asthma, improving school and work attendance and lowering energy costs while shifting the focus from emergency remediation to prevention.

GHHI’s Pay for Success program supports efforts that bring together private, public and nonprofit sectors to solve social problems.

“One of our nation’s greatest tragedies is the number of children severely injured by conditions inside their own homes,” said Norton. “Programs like our Pay for Success project are leading the way for children to be more resilient and healthy and achieve their full potential.”

About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative:

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative® (GHHI) is a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. Formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone 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. GHHI serves as the national model for green and healthy homes interventions and is currently working in more than two dozen cities. Learn more at or follow us @HealthyHousing.

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