Nationally, about 1 in 11 children have asthma, but in some low-income areas of New York City, the childhood asthma rate can be upwards of 1 in 4, causing students to miss school and families to incur expensive medical bills. High indoor levels of pollutants (mold, pests, pesticides, etc.) directly contribute to the high prevalence of asthma in the city. Indoor levels of pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor pollutant levels.
In 2016, WE ACT and members of the Coalition for Asthma Free Homes created a prescription to address asthma and asthma disparities: the Asthma-Free Housing Act.
The Asthma-Free Housing Act, Intro 385, if passed, would:
- prioritize prevention measures in homes of susceptible persons – those with diagnosed asthma, COPD, or lung cancer;
- require landlords to inspect for Indoor Allergen Hazards and correct them and their causes using approved methods;
- require NYC Housing and Preservation Department (HPD) to inspect for Indoor Allergen Hazards and their causes, and issue appropriate violations;
- require HPD to correct violations for Indoor Allergen Hazards where Landlords fail to do so promptly;
create a system for physician referrals for housing inspections by the City for patients with asthma; and
codify safe and effective work practices for remediation of mold hazards.
The organizations urging the Council to pass the Asthma-Free Housing Act and protect New York City children from asthma include:
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East * a.i.r. nyc * American Lung Association in New York * Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW 2325 * American Thoracic Society (ATS) * Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America * CAAAV * CEH * Commission on the Public’s Health System (CPHS) * Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) SEIU * District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO * Doctors Council SEIU * Fifth Avenue Committee/Comite de la Qunita Avenida * LiUNA Local 78 * Make the Road New York * Moms Clean Air Force * Neighbors Helping Neighbors * New York Communities for Change (NYCC) * New York Lawyers for the Public Interest * New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) * New York State Academy of Family Physicians * New York State Nurses Association * Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) * Public Health Association of New York City (PHANYC) * Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCC) * Stabilizing NYC * The Legal Aid Society* Urban Health Plan Inc. * Urban Justice Center * WE ACT for Environmental Justice