Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help promote healthy living environments. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Improving health outcomes for individuals with asthma: Healthy home environmental assessments are conducted during home visits to assess and reduce environmental health risks. Programs typically target individuals who have asthma (or children with asthma, specifically), and are linked to reduced hospital utilization, reduced exposure to allergens, and improved health outcomes.

  • Taking a holistic approach to health: Healthy home environmental assessment programs are typically operated by healthcare systems or public health agencies. Households may be referred for an assessment by a service provider (e.g., their primary care provider) or through proactive outreach by the program. Most often, programs employ community health workers (CHW), or other similarly trained outreach workers, to conduct assessments during home visits.

  • Addressing environmental risk factors: When conducting a home visit, the CHW identifies common asthma triggers and provides information on how those triggers can be reduced or removed. Some programs may also provide households with supplies to reduce allergen exposure, such as air filters, cleaning supplies, and vacuums.

Cost per Participant
Not available

Multiple studies with rigorous designs demonstrate that healthy home environment assessments are a well-supposed strategy for reducing exposure to allergens, reducing hospital utilization, and improving health outcomes.

  • Create an implementation team: Healthcare systems or public health departments should create a dedicated team to guide the implementation of a healthy home environmental assessment program. Common members of an implementation team may include a health services director, a representative from quality management, an asthma case manager, healthcare providers who have large asthma caseloads, a data analyst, and an individual with asthma.

  • Offer comprehensive asthma management services: Healthy home assessments may be most effective when part of broader asthma management programs. As such, community health workers should explain the benefits of an individual asthma action plan during home visits, and provide information on how individuals can develop one with the help of their physician.

  • Prioritize higher-risk patients: When determining which households to visit, healthy home assessment programs should have clear criteria that prioritize individuals based on the severity of their disease. For example, individuals or families who have had multiple emergency department visits during a certain period may be prioritized for a home visit over those with no emergency department visits and minimal office and pharmacy use.

  • Identify community resources: Some asthma triggers may not be easily addressed by healthcare systems and public health departments. For example, renters exposed to mold may benefit from working with their municipal government’s housing department in securing repairs from their property owner. As such, implementing organizations should establish relationships with local housing departments, legal aid societies, tenant advocacy groups, and social service agencies.