New National Healthy Housing Standard Released; Comments Welcomed by 7/31

The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) recently unveiled a new National Healthy Housing Standard. The standard is aimed at improving the health of Americans by addressing serious health and safety hazards in U.S. homes.

The home is the most dangerous place for U.S. families. Roughly 30 million families live in unsafe and unhealthy housing with broken heating and plumbing, holes in walls and windows, roach and rodent infestation, falling plaster, crumbling foundations, and leaking roofs. Millions more in all 50 states live in housing with serious health and safety hazards that can cause asthma, allergies, injuries, cancer, and lead poisoning, which add billions of dollars to health care costs and hamper children’s health, development, and well-being.

The new standard would not apply to new construction or housing renovation. Instead, the standard is intended to be used by government agencies to ensure that the existing housing stock-more than 100 million units nationwide-is maintained in a condition that protects the health and safety of Americans. The document can also serve as a standard of care for any property owner to follow to ensure the health and safety of residents.

The standard includes public health and safety protections related to plumbing; safety; lighting and electrical systems; heating, ventilation, and energy efficiency; moisture and mold control; pest management; and chemicals such as radon, lead, formaldehyde, and asbestos.

NCHH is requesting comments from health and housing practitioners, advocates, and other stakeholders in healthy housing on the standard through July 31, 2013. To access the National Healthy Housing Standard and provide comments, please click here.