The Healthy Housing Hub aims to align, braid, and coordinate the resources of Brown University, local nonprofit agencies, and members of the community to address energy efficiency, sustainable living, and primary environmental health concerns in order to improve the state of healthy housing in Rhode Island.
We live in a chemical environment. Many of the spaces we inhabit are inherently exposing us to environmental toxins that are impacting the health and safety of our society. In an effort to address these health concerns, a new environmental health movement has been established that attempts to create healthier living environments through creating more sustainable and environmentally conscious living spaces. This club is inspired by a national nonprofit organization called the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative™ (GHHI), which works to remediate low-income homes to address these environmental and health related concerns. The Healthy Housing Hub acts as the student arm of GHHI and works to assist its mission and objectives.
While the actual Healthy Housing Hub at Brown was only officially chartered in the spring semester of 2014, work with GHHI began at Brown University in January 2013. Throughout this past year we have worked with GHHI to create a compendium that compiles information on healthy housing issues from many online sources into one easily accessible document. The ultimate goal of this compendium is to aid the civil service community in their effort to write grants and create new policies. The 500+ page compendium includes information on 18 Health and Safety Hazards. By compiling information on the health effects of these hazards, the state and federal policies surrounding these hazards, and the resources Rhode Island has to remediate them, informational gaps can be highlighted and clarity can be given very complex issues.
GHHI Summer Research Institute:
Each summer HHH coordinates 30- 50 undergraduate students from colleges around the country to help research environmental health issues in Rhode Island. This research is conducted from home and will help expand the breadth and depth of Healthy Housing Research Compendium (mentioned above). We are currently working on generating a curriculum with guest lecturers and final project analysis for summer 2014. We are also hoping to make Brown's HHH a template organization for similar clubs at other institutions of higher education, leading the collegiate drive of GHHI’s outreach.
Healthy Housing Database:
To increase the Healthy Housing Compendium's accessibility to the public, we are creating a wiki-style website that allows homeowners, contractors, local government officials and anyone interested in creating greener, healthier homes easy access to relevant information on healthy housing. Additionally, this healthy housing data-base will work as a living document where future generations of undergraduate HHH summer research associates and professionals in the field can update the information.
Healthy Housing Social Venture:
We are raising awareness about healthy housing in the community through a social venture project that seeks to partner our aims to create healthier housing and to support of local businesses. We are currently conducting market research throughout the Providence area to help inform this work.
In summer 2014, we will be conducting our second annual GHHI Summer Research Institute! Participants will be researching health and safety hazards in the United States and analyzing data that will help expand the breadth and depth of out Healthy Housing Compendium. This research will be conducted all online and thus research associates can work from home. There will also be several lecturers from professionals in the field of public health as well as a final analysis and presentation. Please see the contact info bellow if you're interested in participating!
To contact Healthy Housing Hub, email Jeremy_Wortzel@brown.edu.