In observance of National Homeownership Month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has kicked off the month of June with activities for this year’s National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM), an annual campaign highlighting the direct link between housing quality and residents’ health.
NHHM serves to educate families and communities about the importance of creating and maintaining a healthy home by addressing home-based hazards, including reducing moisture and mold, improving ventilation, controlling pests, and maintaining indoor air quality.
This year’s theme of “Connecting home, health, and YOU,” highlights the link between housing quality and health, and is designed to raise awareness of the need to lower costs for families by preventing injury and illnesses, improving and preserving the supply of affordable housing, and improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations.
“This month, we are reminded that everyone in this country deserves to be safe and healthy in their homes,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD and our many partners are working together to protect vulnerable residents from lead exposure and other home health hazards.”
A highlight of this years’ NHHM will be the opening of the nomination process for the new HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Healthy Homes. For the first time, the competition will select one recipient (organization, group, or an individual) who best exemplifies the holistic approach required to create a healthy home culture. The nomination period and website will go live early next week.
As part of HUD’s commitment to ensure healthy homes, the Department has announced two historic Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) that will make homes healthier and safer for low-income families:
- The first NOFO provides more than $700 million in grants to state and local governments for improving health and safety in privately-owned older (pre-1978) homes of low-income families under HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Program–one of the largest health and safety investments to date for privately-owned housing (applications are due June 14).
- The second NOFO provides $50 million to assist communities in building the capacity needed to operate a full-scale lead hazard control and healthy homes program, under HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction Capacity Building Grant Program, a program developed in direct response to feedback from communities (applications are due June 27).