Mayor Guillermo (Bill) V. Vidal signed an agreement today supporting the City and County of Denver’s efforts to make the city a leader in the green economy. By signing the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) Compact, the mayor formalized the city’s commitment to become one of 15 sites around the nation participating in the GHHI initiative.
Through GHHI, the city will work with partner organizations, including the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, North East Denver Housing, Veteran’s Green Jobs, Groundwork Denver, National Jewish and others to make its housing stock more energy efficient, safer, and healthier for low and moderate income Denver families.
“The City and County of Denver has a strong history of working with local partners to bring sustainability to Denver’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bill Vidal. “The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative is another opportunity for us to come together to work with existing and new partners to ensure that sustainable programs represent good government solutions and comprehensive solutions for our neighborhoods. We know that when one of us is successful, we’re all successful, and more importantly, we know that we are all stronger when our neighborhoods succeed and flourish.”
Over the next two years, the city and its partners will work to provide comprehensive energy efficiency, health, and safety upgrades in 250 homes. The benefits to Denver residents will include:
- Decreased energy bills;
- Decreased water bills;
- Better health and less money spent on doctor and emergency room visits due to asthma, lead poisoning and other home based health and safety hazards;
- Fewer days missed from work and school due to illness;
- Increased property values and marketability as homes are improved, and;
- New job and skills training opportunities in the city’s construction sector.
The Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships has lead the local effort to establish the local strategy, convening partners and hosting a GHHI Denver Project Coordinator.
“GHHI is forging a cost-effective approach to creating safer, greener and healthier homes in the communities of greatest need and providing new opportunities for residents of those communities to build the skills they need to be part of the green economy”, said Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and GHHI. “Through this coordinated partnership and government innovation, we have the ability to have tremendous micro impact and equally tremendous macro influence”.
The national GHHI effort is led by the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning in partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Council on Foundations.
Further support for GHHI at the national level came earlier this week, when the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution recommending that cities throughout the U.S. adopt GHHI standards to expand the nation’s stock of affordable, green, healthy and sustainable housing. Through the adoption of the resolution, the Conference, which represents the interests of mayors from the 1,150 cities in the U.S. with populations with 30,000 people or more, also called on Congress to fully fund Healthy Housing programs at the core of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative.
GHHI will implement housing improvements in 3,500 homes in 15 communities during the initial two-year pilot. The work in these homes is expected to result in energy savings of more than $1.2 million per year and health care savings from asthma, lead poisoning and injury prevention of more than $318.5 million per year. Funding will also support the training, certification and employment of 1,400 unemployed or underemployed workers living in these communities. Data from these initial homes are serving to inform recommendations on a new national health-based housing standard through a federal healthy homes work group.
About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
The National Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), as program of the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, is a partnership between the federal government, national and local philanthropy, and local partners to implement a cost-effective and integrated approach to housing interventions by aligning, braiding, and coordinating investments in weatherization, energy efficiency, health and safety. GHHI replaces stand-alone programs with a comprehensive and seamless process that creates safer and more stable homes, improves the health of children and families and produces higher-quality green jobs. GHHI is setting a new standard for policies and practices to create more sustainable, affordable and healthier homes. There are currently 15 GHHI project sites nationwide – 13 cities and two Native American Tribes – with more sites to be added over the next year.
About the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning
The National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning is a national 501c3 non-profit organization that creates, implements, and promotes programs and policies to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and further healthy homes. The Coalition was originally founded in 1986 as Parents Against Lead, a grassroots volunteer effort. Today, the Coalition is a nationally recognized policy, advocacy and direct service organization headquartered in Baltimore. The Coalition’s services extend throughout the states of Maryland and Delaware, as well as St. Louis and Miami. The organization also provides advisory services to organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors.