Leading a Community towards Healthy Housing

 

Speaker:          Magaly Angeloni, MBA, Manager, Rhode Island Dept. of Health, RI

 

Science has corroborated that the quality of housing has an impact on health outcomes of its occupants. We, as environmental health professionals, aim to remediate or eliminate certain health hazards that exist in housing, such as lead, asbestos, radon, pests, etc., to improve the health of populations. Our ultimate goal is to promote housing that is healthy, which means housing that is dry, clean, pest-free, ventilated, safe, without contaminants, and that is maintained.

 

In Rhode Island, the healthy housing movement started from discussions of a small group, conducting an assessment of the state resources, reuniting health and housing policy through an innovative partnership and finding the right approach to convince key stakeholders to make healthy housing a priority.

 

The process to achieve this structure was confusing at times and it was influenced by internal and external factors, all of which contributed in one way or another to the end result. Three years later, the state has a structure, which includes a Steering Committee, a statewide vision, dozens of committed partners and an action plan that is being implemented.