268529 Cincinnati healthy homes assessment and code enforcement

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Latha Venkatakrishnan, RS, MPA, HHS , Environmental Health Services, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati, OH
Allison Franklin, RS, HHS , Environmental Health Services, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati, OH
Tracy Grome , Environmental Health Services, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati, OH
Camille Jones, MD, MPH, CPH , Community Health and Environmental Services, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati, OH
Background: Cincinnati is an industrialized Midwestern city, with older housing stock, and a high percent of rental households. The Cincinnati Health Department (CHD) provides safety net services to the city, and upon request sends registered sanitarians to inspect homes and enforce Board of Health regulations for unsanitary living conditions (ex. roaches, mold, or rats). Many apartment buildings have repeated complaints from tenants. In 2011, the CHD initiated a Healthy Homes (HH) program, offering a global assessment of household hazards (for example, signs of pest infestation, moisture intrusion, indoor smoking, ventilation problems, lack of smoke/CO detectors, harmful chemicals, missing handrails, and trip hazards). Methods: Data was compiled comparing the number and type of initial complaints with the number and type of code violations found by sanitarians during HH assessments. Results: Between April and December 2011, 2,446 complaints were lodged by tenants. Of 845 tenants (complainants and/or tenants in the same building as complainants) that accepted the offer for a HH assessment, only 774 environmental hazards were self identified, but more than 1,800 significant code violations relating to moisture control, cleanliness, and pests were identified; in addition, 765 safety issues were identified and referred to the appropriate city departments. Conclusion: There is a low level of tenant knowledge about significant health hazards in their home environment. A comprehensive plan is needed to educate tenants and landlords about health and safety hazards in the home, and effective measures to abate these environmental hazards.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Compare tenant-generated complaints with home hazards found during Healthy Homes assessment by registered sanitarian

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Indoor Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in the program being described and in developing the analyses for the abstract. I am a Registered Sanitarian and a certified Healthy Homes Specialist.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.