3428.0 Health in housing and community development policy: Initiatives of the Department of Housing and Urban Development aimed at creating healthy homes and communities

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:30 PM
The connection between housing, neighborhoods, and health is well-established. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the FY2010-FY2015 HUD Strategic Plan, which included five priority goals. Two of these goals relate to improving population health: 1. Utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life. 2. Build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination. Meanwhile, HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control released in 2009 its own strategic plan and has been active in coordinating with its federal partner s to develop a federal “Strategy for Action” for healthy homes. In the last few years, HUD has spearheaded a range of initiatives focused on improving the built environment and creating healthy places; promoting environmental justice and reducing health disparities; and improving children’s environmental health. Some initiatives have focused on direct linkages between “healthy homes” interventions and health outcomes such as remediation of lead and other housing-related health hazards, and creating better access and delivery mechanisms for health care in communities. Another set of activities have focused on indirect linkages between creating “healthy communities” and health outcomes such as regional sustainable planning, investing in programs to address neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, and efforts to improve access to employment. This session will provide an overview of four HUD research and programmatic initiatives aimed at improving healthy homes and healthy communities. These four distinct initiatives demonstrate the various avenues —policy, programming, and research—through which HUD is renewing its effort to improve the health of the residents of federally assisted housing as well as other disadvantaged populations. Additionally, they provide a model for how a federal agency whose primary mission is not health-related can have significant impacts on health and health care assess by identifying mechanisms through which its primary programs can also impact individual health-related factors (health behaviors, access to health care), home environmental factors (safe, non-toxic homes), and neighborhood and built environment factors (access to food, walkability, etc). Furthermore, this session will highlight the potential role of non-health agencies in coordinating activities with health agencies to improve health.
Session Objectives: 1) Identify 3 key HUD initiatives to improve health through by improving the indoor environmental quality of public housing residents. 2) Discuss key research findings on the effects of concentrated poverty on health and well being. 3) Explain 3 aspects of sustainable communities that are expected to improve public health.
Rachel Thornton, MD, PhD
Rachel Thornton, MD, PhD

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Organized by: Environment

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

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