80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s  (HUD) American Housing Survey found that 6 million households live with moderate to severe physical housing problems, which place them at risk for various illnesses and injuries including lead poisoning, asthma triggers, house fires, and slip and falls; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Lead Safe for Kids program has provided over $4 million over the last 10 years and has been put to work in more than 40 cities, helping to contribute to the significant reduction of children with elevated blood lead levels from 4.4% of children under 6 years old in 1991 to less than 0.59% today; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors aided in the creation of HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program, which to date has provided $353.8 million to reduce lead hazards in cities around the nation; and

WHEREAS, other home-based health hazards negatively impact cities and families including 40% of asthma episodes triggered by home conditions costing $5 billion annually in healthcare costs, and 13 million preventable home related injuries costing $222 billion annually, as well as the 250,000 children still impacted by elevated blood lead levels costing $43.4 billion in lost earning potential; and

WHEREAS, the success gained on addressing lead can be expanded to address the host of home-based health hazards that historically have only been addressed by individual programs rather than comprehensively; and

WHEREAS, low income households spend 14% of income on energy compared with only 3.5% for other households resulting in increased foreclosure and eviction risks; and

WHEREAS, the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) has emerged as a new model to improve communities and the lives of those living within them by aligning programs, braiding funding streams, and coordinating interventions to address home based health and safety hazards and energy deficiencies, resulting in: improved energy efficiency with fewer environmental impacts; better health outcomes for our children, seniors and families; more efficient use of public investment through improved interagency coordination; higher quality green jobs; reduced barriers to school attendance and work among families with young children; reduced energy costs for low and moderate income families; more effective and sustainable home investments; and

WHEREAS, GHHI maximizes public and philanthropic investments for 5 major benefits: government innovation in service delivery; development of sustainable community-based “green collar” jobs and social enterprise; creation of stable and sustainable green and healthy homes in low and moderate income neighborhoods; measurable improvements in health outcomes for children, seniors, and families; wealth retention and improved property values; and

WHEREAS, initial results have shown significant reductions in the incidents of severe asthma; reduced emergency room visits, hospitalizations and doctor visits, and school absences; blood lead levels have been reduced to below CDC action levels; reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills; intervention cost savings from integrating services and reducing duplicative work; and higher wages earned by persons trained in green, healthy and lead safe assessments and interventions; and

WHEREAS, GHHI is working to inform the Federal Healthy Homes Work Group (comprised of HUD, DOE, HHS, DOL, EPA, DOA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others) and state and local agencies in the development of a national green and healthy housing standard; and

WHEREAS, the National Academy of Public Administration issued the report, “Achieving Green and Healthy Homes and Communities in America” and recommended GHHI be taken to scale nationally; and

WHEREAS, HUD’s paper, “From Recovery to Reinvestment, the Impact of the Recovery Act on America’s Cities” sets a goal of 100,000 Green and Healthy Homes across the nation over the next 3 to 5 years; and

WHEREAS, GHHI provides the opportunity to promote and advance affordable and safe housing post ARRA through recapturing the savings from efficiencies and leveraging diverse sources of investment.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on our members to support the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and the federal government’s plan for expansion to produce 100,000 Green and Healthy Homes in the next 3 to 5 years.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to provide funding for federal programs and local green and healthy homes initiatives that support braiding funding streams and coordinating interventions to address home health and safety hazards and energy deficiencies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on our members to model effective GHHI systems reforms that can be done without significant cost including:

  • Aligning agencies, departments, and programs, braiding diverse funding streams, and coordinating housing intervention efforts;

  • Establishing an effective local collaborative partnership including nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic entities, and private sector companies to advance the green and healthy effort;

  • Utilizing comprehensive assessment tools to assess multiple home-based health hazards and energy efficiency issues;

  • Supporting integrated training of workers in green and healthy home related fields;

  • Establishing streamlined and efficient systems for residents to receive multiple housing services through a single portal;

  • Moving toward shared data and common metrics among city departments and agencies.