The Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes Coalition is a groundbreaking collaboration dedicated to reducing the burden that asthma places on families and individuals living in the Newport Housing Authority. The Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes initiative began in 2005, when Jim Reed, Executive Director of the Newport Housing Authority, became increasingly concerned about the high asthma rates among Housing Authority residents as well as residents’ frequent use of emergency medical care. The Coalition works to address asthma through coordinated health, housing and social service responses.
Funding for the Newport Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes Project was provided by the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Rhode Island Parent Information Network.
One of the Coalition’s first actions was to develop a Healthy Housing Resolution, which the Newport Housing Authority board adopted in 2006. The Resolution confirmed the Newport Housing Authority’s commitment at the highest levels of governance to develop and implement a program that addresses the needs of its population and reaffirms the importance of a Healthy Housing Program.
The Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes Coalition has developed a process for assessing community needs and developing action plans that help individuals and families address conditions that can affect asthma. This process involves surveys, training, home visits and assessments, and action planning and follow-up. A Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes Toolkit can be used by other housing authorities interested in implementing a Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes initiative. The tools included in the kit may be easily modified; available resources are described below. For more information on how your community is addressing asthma in public housing, contact your local health department or housing authority.
The Newport Housing Authority, with support from Coalition members, developed and conducted a baseline survey to document asthma rates, environmental triggers, smoking rates, and access to health care services among Housing Authority residents. Survey results helped inform further programmatic initiatives. (survey full report)
The Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes Coalition established a Healthy Homes Response Team to visit housing units occupied by residents with asthma to further document environmental triggers that could be addressed, learn more about the residents’ need for healthcare and related services, and develop family action plans. (more on training sessions one two)