Healthy Homes Week

September 24-28, 2018

At WE ACT for Environmental Justice, we work to build healthy communities across Northern Manhattan, New York City, and the entire nation. Thirty years of fighting for this has taught us that social, environmental, and economic factors have more to do with health than access to a doctor or hospital. Health and well-being start in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. That is why WE ACT has been working to address these health determinants in all environments.

At WE ACT, we define* a healthy home as:

A home that is marked not only by the absence of health and safety threats (lead, indoor allergens, radon, CO) in the built environment, but also one that supports physical, mental, social and environmental well-being. This definition includes aspects of the home including but not limited to energy efficiency, building materials that limit adverse health effects, free of chemicals and the creation of homes using equitable and fair labor practices.

WE ACT is hosting Healthy Homes Week on September 24th-28th, featuring a week of content and events geared to raising awareness of threats to healthy housing in New York City. The reason we chose this week is because there are two back-to-back public hearings that involve healthy housing issues:

On September 26, a federal court will hold a hearing on two proposed settlements of lawsuits affecting NYCHA housing. One of the lawsuits is US v. NYCHA 18 Civ 5213 (WHP), a lawsuit by the federal government against NYCHA alleging, among other things, that NYCHA violated federal laws regarding lead paint safety and failed to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing. The other lawsuit is Baez v. NYCHA, 13 Civ. 8916 (WHP), a class action on behalf of NYCHA residents with asthma who have mold or excessive moisture in their apartments. WE ACT and its members will be providing testimony in both cases.

On September 27, the New York City Council will hold a public hearing on the 23 lead bills introduced by Speaker Corey Johnson. As convener of the Lead Roundtable, WE ACT has provided feedback on all 23 bills and is working on an oversight report and model metrics for the city to consider as part of this legislation.

The goals of Healthy Homes Week are to:

  • Reinforce the connection between substandard housing and health problems
  • Increase awareness of the healthy housing challenges NYCHA residents face
  • Showcase WE ACT’s role as a leader on environmental justice and environmental health
  • And strengthen existing coalitions and partnerships as well as build new ones

Activities during Healthy Homes Week include:

  • Daily social media posts throughout the week
  • Daily blog posts throughout the week
  • Healthy Homes in NYCHA Working Group Meeting at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, September 25 at WE ACT’s New York office (1854 Amsterdam Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY)
  • NYCHA Public Hearing on Wednesday, September 26 (doors open at 8:45 AM) in Courtroom 9C of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan US Courthouse (500 Pearl Street, New York, NY)
  • New York City Council Lead Bills Hearing at 10:00 AM on Thursday, September 27 in the New York City Council Chamber at New York City Hall (250 Broadway, New York, NY)

We will also using this page, our blog, and our Facebook and Twitter channels to share information about a variety of healthy homes issues. And we may even have a little something special in the works.

Stay tuned, and check this page periodically for updates!

*Definition adopted from Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Center for Healthy Housing.


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