Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes (RIAHH)
The Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes (RIAHH) was established in 2014 through leadership from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development, RIHousing, the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, the City of Providence, and the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative.
At its founding, the Alliance had over 70 participating organizations and over 500 individual members. The Rhode Island Foundation and the Attorney General's office provided start up operating support, and RIHousing and the City of Providence enabled RIAHH to continue its work in 2016-2017. In 2016, the Alliance became a project of HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University. Continued support is made possible through the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, and the Dexter Donation (via the City of Providence).
The mission of RIAHH is to align, braid and coordinate information, resources and services for improving the health, safety and energy efficiency of all Rhode Island homes.
How RIAHH Helps Rhode Island Communities
Navigating housing resources can be confusing and daunting for most home owners and tenants.
RIAHH builds resources from both sides: we coordinate services to help families achieve greener and healthier homes, and we work upstream to align, braid and coordinate local and state policies to promote green and healthy housing. We aim to transform the current silo-ed system into a streamlined resource that delivers services to Rhode Island families so that they may live in safe, healthy, energy efficient homes.
RIAHH has created the following tools to help create better policies and to support collaboration among healthy homes service providers.
One Touch™ Rhode Island
In order to better connect healthy homes efforts, the Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes (RIAHH) at HousingWorksRI has created a powerful resource for healthy housing to Rhode Island.
One Touch™ RI connects professionals from health, energy, and housing improvement and repair programs to cost-effectively improve health outcomes and reduce home energy use. Government and non-profits partners that “touch” homes use a common home “check up” tool and electronic referral system to identify conditions that trigger referrals to community partners or change the services delivered. Through One Touch™, partners assess household health interests and housing needs in order to initiate referrals to community partners. No private health information is shared through this tool.
Legal Review of Healthy Homes Regulations in the City of Providence and State of Rhode Island
Connections between health and housing are well-known, and with increasing frequency are addressed in housing policy, in health policy and in policy where housing and health meet. Laws and regulations supporting healthy housing abound, from some of the earliest public health regulations governing household pests or sewers to decades-old laws governing lead in paint and water to newer rules for Medicaid programs providing support for healthy housing.
Rhode Island laws and regulations touch on important aspects of healthy housing. More can be done within existing law and regulation to ensure that all Rhode Islanders live in healthy homes. There are some gaps in Rhode Island law that, if addressed, would strengthen access to healthy housing for more Rhode Islanders. Further, communities would be strengthened by additional attention and funding for housing stability and affordability programs that help residents maintain and live in healthy affordable housing in their communities. Download the full report here.
Healthy Homes Strategy for the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island
RIAHH created a healthy homes strategy for the City of Providence to align, coordinate and leverage efforts to improve public health, energy efficiency, economic development and community resilience. The benefits of a healthy hosing strategy reach well beyond the individual units where interventions take place; healthier homes mean that children and adults can lead healthier lives, are more productive members of our society and have more opportunities to contribute meaningfully to the health, wealth, cultural richness and sustainability of Rhode Island. Download the full strategy here.
Our Executive Steering Committee has 6 permanent members representing from the state agencies that support housing, 1 rotating municipality seat, and invited non-profit leaders. Current executive committee member organizations include:
- Childhood Lead Action Project (CLAP)
- City of Providence Department of Planning and Development
- HousingWorks RI of Roger Williams University
- Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
- Rhode Island Attorney General's Office
- Rhode Island Department of Health
- Rhode Island Office for Housing and Community Development
"Securing affordable housing for vulnerable families with children, older adults and formerly homeless individuals is indeed the platform for increasing access to primary and preventative care. It is also a critical and necessary long-term investment."
- Dr. Megan Sandel, MD, MPH
Healthy Homes Resources:
One Touch™ RI (Healthy Homes Checkup):
One Touch™ Rhode Island was developed in partnership with Tohn Environmental Strategies, through funding from the Lead Programs at the Rhode Island Department of Health and RIHousing.