HUD's Healthy Homes Newsletter

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Healthy Homes Insider

The quarterly eNewsletter of HUD's
Office of Lead Hazard Control
and Healthy Homes

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Director's Welcome

Healthy Homes Insiders,


Happy New Year! Welcome to the first issue of the Healthy Homes Insider, a new quarterly newsletter published by HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. This newsletter will make you a healthy homes insider by giving you information on making homes safe and healthy, cutting-edge research, smoke-free housing, and more!


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Breaking News: HUD Proposes a Rule to Ban Smoking in Public Housing

smoke free image

On November 17, 2015, HUD published a proposed rule to make the nation’s public housing properties entirely smoke-free. HUD’s proposed rule would require more than 3,000 public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to implement smoke-free policies in their public housing units within 18 months of the final rule. Comments on the proposed rule are due on January 19, 2016.

OLHCHH also has a smoke-free webpage to help stakeholders plan for, implement and build support for smoke-free policies for public housing and multifamily properties. The webpage includes information on the proposed rule, popular videos, and a resource bank


Read and Comment on our rule
Visit Our Smoke-Free Webpage

Community Spotlight

Spotlight on State and Local Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Programs

Four states and local communities have been instrumental in shaping the future of our electronic grant management system (HHGMS): the City of Houston (TX), the City of Roanoke (VA), Onondaga County (NY), and the State of Michigan. These states and local communities have helped us improve grant management and data collection practices for all lead hazard control grants.


Our office appreciates the time and effort provided by these states and local communities, and we look forward to comprehensive improvements to HHGMS because of their hard work! Click on the buttons below to learn about the lead hazard control programs in these four states and local communities. 

City of Houston
City of Ronoake
Onodaga County
State of Michigan

The Science Behind Healthy Homes

Research Spotlight

Health Benefits of Green Public Housing: Associations with Morbidity and Building-Related Symptoms, an article supported by an OLHCHH technical studies grant, was published in the American Journal of Public Health (published in October 2015).


This article reports that researchers found that people living in green public housing had improved health outcomes compared to those living in conventional public housing. These findings remained consistent throughout the study. Green housing may provide a significant value in resource-poor communities where green construction or renovation could reduce harmful indoor exposures, promote resident health, and reduce operational costs.


Another paper on this research, Indoor Air Quality in Green vs Conventional Multifamily Low-Income Housing, was published previously (June 2014). That paper documented improved indoor air-quality measures in green multifamily low-income housing. 

Green Public Housing Abstract
Indoor Air Quality Abstract

January is National Radon Action Month!

January is National Radon Action Month!

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon enters our homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations. It can also be released from building materials and water obtained from wells that contain radon. Basements and first floors usually have the highest radon levels because of their closeness to the ground.


January is National Radon Action Month. Here's what you can do this month:


•   If you are a homeowner or tenant, you can take action and have your home tested to see if you have elevated or high radon levels. 


•   If you are a stakeholder, read the National Radon Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy announced by three federal departments and eight national organizations for preventing 3,200 lung cancer deaths. 

Have your home tested for radon
Read the National Radon Action Plan

How to Get Your Home Ready for Winter


You have a coat and hat. You have a scarf and gloves. You are ready for winter, but is your home? Not preparing for cold weather can compromise your home and your family’s well-being.

We know that some winter days are going to be much colder than others.


If you plan to use your fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, be sure to install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the room you are heating. Unlike smoke, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. Click on the buttons below to see the resources that our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created to help you get ready for winter. 

Guide for Preparing For Winter Weather
Be Ready Infographic

Healthy Homes Quarterly Tip

Did You Know?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Carbon monoxide is made when fossil fuels, such as gas, are burned. In the home, carbon monoxide can be made by improperly working gas stoves, water heaters, and furnaces.


Over 500 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. These deaths can be prevented by installing a carbon monoxide alarm. Just like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide alarm can alert you and your family if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are present. You should put carbon monoxide alarms near bedrooms and on every level of your home. Visit your local home improvement store and purchase your alarms. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully!

Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes

HUD Secretary's Award for Healthy Homes

HUD, in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), is hosting its second annual Secretary’s Awards for Healthy Homes. These awards will recognize excellence in healthy housing innovation and achievement.


There will be three categories of awards:


 Public Housing/ Multifamily Supported Housing


  Policy and Research Innovation, and


•  Cross Program Coordination among Health, Environment and Housing.


The application process will open on January 15, 2016 and end on February 29, 2016. The activities or policies nominated must show measurable benefits in the health of residents and be available to low and/or moderate income families.

Click Here to Learn More

NEHA 2016 AES and HUD Healthy Homes Conference | San Antonio, TX | June 13-16 2016



The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) 2016 Annual Education Conference (AEC) and National Healthy Homes Conference will be held jointly in San Antonio, Texas, from June 13-16, 2016. Building on the success of the 2014 National Healthy Homes Conference in Nashville, the joint conference will be the most comprehensive annual gathering of public, nonprofit, and private entities working in environmental health, housing and other professions dedicated to improving the health and safety of homes and communities. If you are an environmental health or housing professional looking to network and get an even greater understanding of the breakthroughs and challenges in healthy housing, this is the conference for you!

Click Here to Learn More
Register to Attend the Conference
Register to Exhibit
Learn About Sponsorship Opportunities

Upcoming Events

January 15 - February 29: Application Period for Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes


February 9: Mold and Moisture: Not a Dry Science! (Research Series)

Public webcast available with captions and without captions 


March 9: Healthy Homes Research Seminar: Lead


April 5: Healthy Homes Research Seminar: Asthma


May 10: Healthy Homes Research Seminar: Integrated Pest Management

June 1-30: First Annual National Healthy Homes Month


June 7: Healthy Homes Research Seminar: Weatherization and Green Rehabilitation 

June 13-16: NEHA Annual Education Conference (AEC) and National Healthy Homes Conference


Coming Soon II