Healthy home environment assessments
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.
- Trained professionals visit homes to evaluate and remediate environmental health risks inside the home
- Often focus on asthma triggers, improving ventilation, pest management, mold removal, and allergen control
Evidence and impacts
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
- Improved health outcomes and reduced asthma triggers, exposure to allergens, use of urgent care, and related health care costs
- Increased participant knowledge and awareness of environmental home-based hazards
- Increased preventative measures against in-home hazards
- Reduced school and work absences for asthmatic children and adults
- Decreased health disparities, particularly when targeted at lower-income urban and rural populations
Best practices in implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Train community health workers to provide participants with mitigation strategies on environmentally-induced symptoms, including how to identify and eliminate triggers.
- Provide community health workers conducting home visits with patient-friendly printed resources on best practices to manage home health risks, as well as information on additional health and social services available to them.
- Encourage community health workers to use home visits not just for an inspection, but also to work with patients on developing and implementing a health risk reduction and mitigation plan.
- Invest in enough community health workers to ensure they have the capacity for semi-regular visits (such as biweekly or monthly).
- Recruit community health workers who can provide culturally appropriate services for the communities in which they are serving, including fluency in commonly-spoken languages.
- Develop a clear set of referral criteria for potential program participants, including the type of home they live in, income, and community factors.
- If funding allows, consider providing program participants with supplemental services, such as cleaning supplies, mattress covers, and mold remediation work.
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps evidence overview of healthy home environment assessments "Evaluation of a home-based environmental and educational intervention to improve health in vulnerable households: Southeastern Pennsylvania Lead and Health Homes Program," International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2016) "Eastern Carolina Asthma Prevention Program: An environmental intervention study among rural and underserved children with asthma in Eastern North Carolina," Environmental Health Insights (2014) "A cost-benefit analysis of a state-funded Healthy Homes Program for residents with asthma: Findings from the New York State Healthy Neighborhoods Program," Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (2017) "The New York State Healthy Neighborhoods Program: Findings from an evaluation of a large-scale, multisite, state-funded Healthy Homes Program," Journal of Public Health Management and Practice