City of Richmond designated a Green and Healthy Homes Initiative site
The City of Richmond was recently designated a Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) site.
Starting two years ago, representatives from the Richmond City Health District and the City of Richmond collaborated with numerous local community service providers to align, intertwine, and coordinate their programs with the goal of producing healthier, more energy-efficient housing, higher-quality green jobs, and improved health and social outcomes for families. Local leaders committed to this effort because they recognized it was an effective way to improve how the community addressed the connection between health and housing.
As part of the designation process, the stakeholders signed onto a compact to continue this important work. Signatories include: Director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Districts Dr. Danny Avula, Mayor Levar Stoney, KC Bleile of Viridiant, Lee Householder of project:HOMES, Malcolm Jones of Rebuilding Together Richmond, Ruth Ann Norton of Green & Healthy Homes Initiative and Amy Strite of Family Lifeline. These stakeholders intend to pursue several goals:
- Work collaboratively to advance this initiative on behalf of the families we serve;
- Coordinate housing intervention efforts and remove barriers to integration among city and state agencies and private partner stakeholders;
- Conduct comprehensive housing assessments and interventions, integrating the areas of lead hazard reduction, Healthy Homes, weatherization, energy efficiency, and related work;
- Align programs, braid funds, and coordinate agencies to the greatest extent feasible and allowed by law or regulation;
- Support the establishment of enhanced national, state and local housing standards that implement a holistic housing approach; and
- Break down barriers to full employment for low-income residents and promote equity through training and employment efforts.
“I am thrilled Richmond has been designated a GHHI site,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Healthy homes are vital to improving outcomes for Richmond’s families. This collaborative approach to raising housing standards lays the foundation for a better quality of life for all of our residents.”
Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Department, noted, “The GHHI designation process was an important opportunity to gather local leaders at the intersection of health and housing. We are excited to highlight efforts like this, where the region can accomplish more by acting collectively.”
“We are delighted to welcome Richmond into the GHHI network. Richmond is doing the work and has the vision to work upstream to positively move the Social Determinants of Health for its community through healthier housing. This Compact signifies this great work and leadership of GHHI-Richmond,” says Ruth Ann Norton, President and CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative.
The GHHI process has already shown impressive results by strengthening or starting several impactful initiatives:
- Culture of Health Richmond – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded the City of Richmond with the 2017 Culture of Health Prize. Partners since founded Culture of Health Richmond “to shed light on key health challenges, celebrate the innovation and courage of leaders who are bringing real change to life, and shift minds and hearts in Richmond toward a shared belief that every person deserves good health, meaningful choices, and respect.”
- RVA Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control (LBPHC) Program – A HUD-funded 3-year program to control health hazards caused by lead based paint in homes and apartments built before 1978 where children under 6 or pregnant women reside. The City of Richmond administers this program in partnership with the Richmond City Health District’s Lead-Safe and Healthy Home Initiative and local non-profit project:Homes.
- RVA Childhood Asthma Collaborative – An effort between community-based programs, Richmond City and Henrico Health Districts, Bon Secours Mercy Health, HCA Virginia Health System, and VCU Health System focused on improving lifestyle and healthcare outcomes for local children who have asthma.
For more information on Richmond’s involvement in the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, please contact:
- Richmond City and Henrico County Health Districts – George Jones, (804) 205-3735, George.Jones@vdh.virginia.gov;
- City of Richmond – Maggie Anderson, (804) 646-7970, Maggie.Anderson@richmondgov.com; or
- Green & Healthy Homes Initiative – Ruth Ann Norton, (410) 534-6447, firstname.lastname@example.org.