Federal Agencies Working To Make Homes Healthier
On February 4, 2013, HUD, with the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the White
House Council on Environmental Quality unveiled Advancing Healthy Housing – A
Strategy for Action. Watch the announcement here!
quality can have a
dramatic effect on
the health of
The vision of the federal agencies that developed the Strategy is to reduce the number of American homes with residential health and safety hazards through achievement of five goals and priority actions.
Goals One and Two: Establish and Encourage Adoption of Federally-Recognized Criteria for
Healthy Homes. The Strategy for Action calls upon federal agencies to develop consensus on the
basic concept of a healthy home – building off eight characteristics, including dry, clean, pest free,
safe, contaminant free, well ventilated, and well maintained and thermally controlled – and
encourage adoption of this consensus across federal agencies, tribal governments, state and local
governments, and non-governmental organizations.
Goal Three: Create and Support Training and Workforce Development to Address Health Hazards
in Housing. Building a cadre of trained experts that deliver healthy homes services, including
weatherization and retrofitting in neighborhood homes is at the core of the Strategy. The plan
includes leveraging existing workforce development efforts, such as Department of Labor’s
efforts in training workers for, and connecting workers to, jobs in a clean energy economy and
Goal Four: Educate the Public about Healthy Homes. The Strategy promotes adoption of a public
communications campaign to help people connect the dots between their health and their home.
Goal Five: Support Research that Informs and Advances Healthy Housing in a Cost-Effective
Manner. The Strategy identifies areas in which rigorous healthy homes research is needed to help
federal, state, and local stakeholders enhance their decision-making in a cost-effective manner and
reduce actions that have unintended consequences.