Presentation: Applying an Equity Lens to Healthy Housing Policy
Speaker: Kari Lyons-Eubanks
essential step to policy review, advocacy and change is framing the issues
being addressed and creating common definitions. Multnomah County Health
Department applied an equity lens to a state and local housing policies to
create a policy solution that addresses root causes of health inequities,
specifically the unequal burden of asthma. This workshop will define policy,
types of advocacy; discuss an equity lens, and will highlight steps to follow
to create equitable healthy housing policies.
"At Multnomah County Environmental Health Services in Portland Oregon,
reducing the unequal burden of asthma on poor children and children of color
and improving the indoor air quality, habitability and stability of their
housing is at the core of our Healthy Homes work. We began building our Healthy
Homes foundation in 2001 with a community needs assessment, and responded to
the needs of the community by offering health education workshops and
developing a Healthy Homes asthma nurse home visit program. In 2007, we
coordinated a Healthy Homes Summit, from which emerged a series of policy recommendations,
including a call for stronger housing codes and changes to the state health
plan to sustain home-based asthma interventions. We have worked to develop strategic alliances
with local, state and national partners with two desired outcomes:
Improve the connection between health and housing
Educate local and state policymakers on asthma and advocate for
policies that eliminate health disparities.
Within Multnomah County, we connected with two cities - Gresham and Portland
- in an evaluation process of their housing inspection programs. Through
extensive work groups, our team influenced changes in housing codes to reflect
environmental health conditions that negatively impact health, such as moisture
conditions that create mold which exacerbates asthma. For example, a change in
the housing code to set relative humidity indexes as guidelines to citing mold
remediation to landlords. At the state
level, our team built strategic alliances by educating local policymakers and
legislators about our healthy homes project individually, and hosted asthma briefings
for the House and Senate in the Oregon Legislature with families and children
testifying to the success of home-based asthma care programs. We are currently
working closely with the Oregon Division of Medical Assistance Programs to
create a Targeted Case Management group that will allow us to bill managed care
plans for a portion of the services in our Healthy Homes Asthma program with a
start date of July 1, 2010. Our Healthy Housing Policy Change toolkit will
highlight the challenges and successes of our journey, offering lessons learned
and key ingredients to developing successful policies."
At the end of this Lecture Hall presentation,
attendees will be able to:
and policy advocacy and better understand their role in different types of
policy advocacy related to substandard housing.
Define a health
equity lens, how it works, and how to apply it to local and state policies.
Apply eight key
steps to creating healthy housing policy to a local policy.