Empowered – Informed – Inspired
For many members, the 2020 California Healthy Housing Coalition Annual Meeting was the last in-person meeting attended prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hope was that our 2021 Annual Meeting would be the first in-person meeting after the pandemic.
As we entered the new year, it was clear that would not be the case. The Steering Committee went ahead and planned a virtual annual meeting with the goal of maintaining as much of the peer-to-peer interactions so valued during our in-person meetings.
We were honored to have Assemblymember David Chiu open our meeting with an inspiring message about the importance of our work on health and equity and the opportunities ahead.
Day one continued with a moderated discussion about the impacts of the pandemic on healthy housing work and the strategies we’ve developed to do our work safely. Moderated by Tenants Together, we heard from community organizers at Strategic Action for a Just Economy (SAJE), community health workers at Esperanza Community Housing, and code enforcement with the City of Los Angeles. We concluded the day with breakout sessions for each of our workgroups to share and discuss priorities for the year.
We gathered again on day two to learn about ways housing preservation policies can improve both affordability and housing conditions from NonProfit Housing Association of Northern California and California Coalition for Rural Housing, as well as how building electrification fits within the broader movement for energy equity from Physicians for Social Responsibility -LA and the Greenlining Institute.
We wrapped up our annual meeting with a training on indoor air quality (IAQ) covering the connection between IAQ and health from San Mateo County’s Environmental Health, tenants’ rights and responsibilities from Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, IAQ and code enforcement from the City of Oakland, and IAQ resources from the California Department of Public Health.
CHHC members address healthy housing from multiple perspectives. As a result, the coalition’s priorities represent a comprehensive approach towards achieving healthy housing for all. CHHC organizes itself into three workgroups focused on the following priorities:
Combat substandard housing conditions affecting many low-income renters, such as pest infestations and mold.
Indoor Air Quality
Reduce exposure to contaminants in the home, including pesticides, tobacco smoke, and outdoor pollution.
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Eliminate exposure to lead hazards in the home and improve the identification of and support to lead poisoned children.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the most effective and least harmful way to address pests. By addressing the root causes of pest problems, IPM serves as a long term solution to pest problems that advoids the costly, routine pesticide applications commonly used in rental housing. To encourage more property owners to adopt IPM and a more effective and healthier alternative to routine spraying on their rental properties, CHHC members members developed a series of short videos to encourage landlords to transition to the use of Integrated Pest Management. Videos include: