Case Studies

Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program: East Hartford

Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program identified two health hazards in an East Hartford home – a leak in the basement that could cause mold and moisture problems known to exacerbate asthma symptoms and lead paint that could cause developmental delays, learning difficulties and other health concerns.

The family contacted Healthy Homes for help while struggling to get their 2-year-old son’s asthma under control. After identifying the concerns, Healthy Homes removed the lead paint from the family’s house — replacing the front and back doors, scraping and repainting the exterior, and repainting the shed and garage floor — and installed a drainage system to keep water out of the basement. Since the renovations wrapped up, the basement has been water-free and there is improved air quality throughout the house. The family has also reported improvement with their son’s asthma symptoms.

In addition to remediating the health concerns, Healthy Homes also provided the family with educational materials on asthma triggers and other potential health hazards so they could recognize and address potential concerns in the future.

Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program: Hartford

Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program removed asbestos, mold and lead from a Hartford home ensuring a much healthier environment for the family living there.

The family contacted Healthy Homes after a contractor hired to assess the roof looked around the rest of the home and realized there were substantial issues in need of attention to prevent health concerns for the mother and three children living there, including a child with heart trouble. After conducting an assessment, Healthy Homes removed asbestos and mold from the family’s basement and lead from elsewhere in the home – toxins that could have caused long-term health and developmental concerns for the children.

During part of the renovations, Healthy Homes relocated the family to a hotel to avoid contamination. They returned home once the work was completed and air quality testing showed it was safe. In addition to replacing tiles, drywall and windows, the Healthy Homes team also added safety bars to the windows in the children’s bedrooms to prevent falls.

Building for Health

Building for Health launched in 2019 to increase collaboration between the housing, health and energy sectors with the goal of improving the overall health of children and families. Created by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Connecticut Children’s oversees the initiative. To date, partners in the program have engaged more than 120 families throughout Connecticut.

Building for Health offers a no-wrong-door approach for families to ensure they can easily access the services they need to live healthier lives, regardless of the sector such services are in. Partners in the initiative include Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program (Healthy Homes), the state of Connecticut’s Putting on Airs asthma education program, and various utilities that provide weatherization services for homes. Once a family contacts any Building for Health partner for help, their experts not only address the initial concern, but also look for additional health hazards. They utilize a One Touch referral platform to easily connect families to other Building for Health partners that can address those added concerns. The approach eases the burden for families so they can make their homes healthier without having to locate multiple resources or cover costs on their own.

Building for Health: Manchester

The Building for Health initiative provided substantial support to a Manchester family by remediating health concerns and providing asthma education. The parents initially reached out to the state of Connecticut’s Putting on Airs program after noticing their 6-year-old daughter’s asthma symptoms were getting worse. The program provided virtual training on inhaler use as well as follow up calls to check on their daughter’s health.

The Putting on Airs team also discovered mold in the family’s basement, which is one of the hazards they are trained to look for through Building for Health. Putting on Airs helped the family apply for additional help through Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program. To remediate the mold issue, the Healthy Homes team removed and replaced a stand up shower in the basement bathroom. They also replaced several moldy drop ceiling tiles, damaged insulation in the ceiling and walls, and a basement metal hatchway entrance. In addition to the mold remediation, the team installed a carbon monoxide detector in the family’s dining room and installed window safety guards and window screens in the second story windows to prevent falls.  

Through Building for Health, the family has also connected with a weatherization program run by the utility Eversource, which will perform an energy audit to identify ways to increase energy efficiency in the house to reduce heating and energy expenses and create a healthier environment.

After connecting with Building for Health, the family says they have already seen a difference in their daughter’s health. They say she needs her inhaler and nebulizer a lot less now and are comforted knowing that their home is safe to raise their children.

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