Renovating a home
(Image credit: Green & Healthy Homes Initiative video)

Hazards in the home, such as lead paint and mold, can cause health problems. And the burdens are often greatest for low-income people.

“Families with limited incomes often are living in really difficult housing conditions because they don’t have a lot of other choices,” says Catherine Lee of the Jackson, Mississippi, branch of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative.

She says many low-income households also have high utility bills because their homes may have drafty windows, poor insulation, and old appliances.

“It’s very common that low- and moderate-income households pay a significant portion … of their monthly income on their energy bills,” she says.

So Lee says it’s important to tackle the multiple burdens that often come with substandard housing.

“If the housing stock has not been repaired or brought up to more efficient standards, multiple problems usually exist together,” she says. “So we really work to make sure that we’re addressing these things in tandem.”

For example, when Jackson residents apply for help with lead remediation, the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative helps determine if they’re also eligible for weatherization funding.

She says it’s a comprehensive approach to making sure people can live affordably in safe, healthy homes.

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Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Health