Healthy Housing: Proactively address health hazards in housing and advance design that improves physical and mental health.
As people spend more of their time indoors (according to the Environmental Protection Agency people spend on average 93 percent of their time indoors), it becomes more important than ever for those indoor spaces to foster a healthy environment. Poor indoor air quality and indoor environmental pollutants such as lead, mold, pests and radon can have lifelong impacts on health. These conditions and pollutants disproportionately impact low-income households, children of color and renters.
The design and maintenance of housing also has a dramatic impact on both physical and mental health. Housing design that embraces active and healthy living can include deliberate placement of stairwells, bicycle storage areas, play spaces for children, and social spaces in buildings that foster connections within the building and with the broader community.
The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to proactively address health hazards in housing and advance design that improves physical and mental health.
- Focus resources for housing improvement programs and actions in historically underinvested communities where unhealthy housing has caused poor health outcomes.
- Support and expand programs and actions that identify and proactively remediate health hazards in existing housing, such as lead and radon abatement programs.
- Support and expand programs and redevelopment activity to remediate environmental and public health hazards related to housing and neighborhoods.
- Promote inclusion of active living design components in housing.
- Promote building and community design that includes public spaces that foster connectivity within and outside of a building.
- Establish healthy homes priorities, weighing both the housing needs and the amount of vulnerable populations that reside nearby.
- Encourage and require when possible, use of environmentally responsible building materials and construction practices.
- Link healthy housing to energy efficiency improvements in existing housing.
- Encourage the use of interior landscaping and greening for air quality and psychological health benefits.
- Adjust design standards to maximize access to natural sunlight.