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Linking public health, housing, and indoor environmental policy: successes and challenges at local and federal agencies in the United States.

Authors
Jacobs-DE; Kelly-T; Sobolewski-J
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2007 Jun; 115(6):976-982
NIOSHTIC No.
20039096
Abstract
We describe the successes and challenges faced by federal and local government agencies in the United States as they have attempted in recent years to connect public and environmental health, housing, community development, and building design with environmental, housing, and building laws, codes, and policies. These policies can either contribute to or adversely affect human physical and mental health, with important implications for economic viability, research, policy development, and overall social stability and progress. Policy impediments include tension between housing affordability and health investment that causes inefficient cost-shifting, privacy issues, unclear statutory authority, and resulting gaps in responsibility for housing, indoor air, and the built environment. We contrast this with other environmental frameworks such as ambient air and water quality statutes where the concept of "shared commons" and the "polluter pays" is more robust. The U.S. experiences in childhood lead poisoning prevention, indoor air, and mold provide useful policy insights. Local programs can effectively build healthy homes capacity through local laws and housing codes. The experience of coordinating remediation for mold, asthma triggers, weatherization, and other healthy housing improvements in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is highlighted. The U.S. experience shows that policymakers should adopt a prevention-oriented, comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach at all levels of government to prevent unhealthy buildings, houses, and communities.
Keywords
Public-health; Environmental-health; Air-quality; Molds; Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality; Public-health; Author Keywords: built environment; healthy housing; housing; indoor air quality; indoor environmental quality; policy; public health
Contact
David E. Jacobs, National Center for Healthy Housing, 10320 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 500, Columbia, MD 21044
CODEN
EVHPAZ
Publication Date
20070601
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
djacobs@nchh.org
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2007
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008672
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0091-6765
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
IL; DC; MD; OH
Performing Organization
University of Illinois-Chicago
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