Episode 673: Ruth Ann Norton - Green and Healthy Homes Initiative - What Success Looks Like

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Episode 673: Ruth Ann Norton - Green and Healthy Homes Initiative - What Success Looks Like

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Show Resources: Show Discussion:

12:04:35 From cliff zlotnik : TRivia- what was the original name of the GHHI?
12:05:35 From Doug Kohnen at ERAtech : Parents against lead
12:06:03 From cliff zlotnik : correct doug! please send your address
12:07:02 From Doug Kohnen at ERAtech : Thanks, Its good to have the time to listen in like I used to.
12:18:24 From Doug Kohnen at ERAtech : Contractors in my area of SW Ohio are not being regulated so I quit being a RRP Lead Instructor. I was the only instructor within 50 miles and there was not enough interest from contractors to come to classes.
12:19:55 From Doug Kohnen at ERAtech : Thank you
12:59:49 From Victor Cafaro : Always something on IAQRadio+ to learn. Enjoy the holiday everyone.
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Re: Episode 673: Ruth Ann Norton - Green and Healthy Homes Initiative - What Success Looks Like

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Episode 672| August 19, 2022 | 12:00 PM EST

Ruth Ann Norton
Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
What Success Looks Like

This week IAQradio welcomed Ruth Ann Norton President & CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative for a discussion on healthy homes, the new funding in the Inflation Reduction Act and what a successful organization looks like.

Ruth Ann Norton, President & CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, joined the organization in 1993 and has led its development into one of the nation’s most effective and foremost authorities on healthy housing and its impact on the social determinants of health and racial equity. An expert on lead poisoning prevention, healthy homes and the intersection of climate, energy and health, Ruth Ann directs GHHI’s national strategy, policy framework and services to integrate climate, healthcare and healthy housing as a platform for improved health, economic, educational and social outcomes for low-income communities.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

GHHI Mission
The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative is dedicated to addressing the social determinants of health and the advancement of racial and health equity through the creation of healthy, safe and energy efficient homes. By delivering a standard of excellence in its work, GHHI aims to eradicate the negative health impacts of unhealthy housing and unjust policies for children, seniors and families to ensure better health, economic and social outcomes for low-income communities of color.
GHHI Vision
Addressing the Social Determinants of Health and Racial Equity through Healthy Housing.

Collaboration with others has been a key part of GHHI’s success. GHHI has expanded the number of groups with whom they collaborate to over 1,000. These partners include: state governors, city mayors, nonprofits, utilities, foundations, health departments, hospitals, healthcare systems, universities, etc. (eg. Johns Hopkins, Habitat for Humanity, HUD, Dept. of Energy, EPA, ProMedica, Blue Cross to name a few).

• Ruth Ann sees GHHI as the catalyst around standards and practice.

Your headquarters is in Baltimore, is your work limited to Baltimore? GHHI is working in other states and cities.
GHHI has a staff of 50. Half of the staff works out of HQ and the other half is scattered among offices in other cities. According to Ruth Ann, GHHI's small staff of 50 personnel punches seriously above its weight. GHHI’s primary tool is collaboration. GHHI excels at building and maintaining effective long-standing partnerships.

GHHI is focused on what happens in the home uses common sense measures to improve housing and improve occupant health. GHHI looks to match assets with gaps. GHHI involved in research, evaluation and implementation.
• Broad impact to improve health.
• Create practices that elevate lives.
• Decarbonization- moving from gas heat to alternatives.

Contractors need to understand the importance a healthy home to improving the health outcomes of occupants. There is a massive opportunity for contractors, as billions of dollars of funding is in the pipeline. Contractors need to provide products and services in alignment with the programs. Lead paint, mold, leaky roofs, stair treads, energy efficiency, ventilation, asthma, weatherization, etc. Contractors are needed to manage entire projects. Subcontractors are needed to do the work, more workers are needed providing the opportunity for new disadvantaged workers to enter the trades.

Housing and energy investment is part of the Inflation Reduction Act
$369 billion climate and energy.
$9 billion home energy rebate (for electrifying of low-income housing)
$4.3 billion tax credits for roof top solar
$60 billion EPA pollution & climate change, climate justice, low income & wealth
$1 billion states to develop more energy efficient codes.
Creation of a Green Bank
Environmental Justice
Health (cardiac health, brain function)

The IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) dwarfs programs put into place by Presidents FDR and Obama. The IRA ensures sustainable work. The IRA can take lessons from the America Recovery Act on how to keep workers working.
• These investments build correct infrastructure. Results in employment challenges and opportunities.
• Get potential workers from at risk communities interested in job opportunities. Upskill these workers and bring them into the workplace.
• California outlaws carbon cars.
• No longer building buildings fueled by gas.
• Once adopted the market will shift.
• Manufacturers are adapting. (Rocky Mountain Institute) https://rmi.org/our-work/buildings/ https://rmi.org/our-work/building-electrification/
• Department of Energy moving from gas to electric.
Under IRA contractors can depend on availability of larger numbers of projects.
• Recruit client base who wants services.
• People to do the work and get the money.
• All this happens locally.
Under IRA broader distribution of training centers will be needed along with ongoing training. Apprenticeship training.

• Federal grants require enforcement of lead rules.
• Ask the Experts- GHHI seeks experts to advise of best practices.

In-Home Care asthma reduction using best practices have proven to provide improvement of health saving calculation statistics. https://www.standardsofcare.org/underst ... s/in-home/

Ruth Ann is concerned about the volume of funding coming soon and the lack of good standards based upon evidenced based science and demonstrated efficacy. For instance, standards enforcement by state and city in Baltimore moved the market. Communities with the best standards and enforcement achieve the best outcomes.

Success Stories: https://www.greenandhealthyhomes.org/ne ... s-stories/

Healthy Homes Toolkit: https://www.greenandhealthyhomes.org/vi ... s-toolkit/

Inflation Reduction Act Includes New Funds for Climate Resiliency and Improved Indoor Air Quality in Homes
https://nchh.org/2022/08/inflation-redu ... -in-homes/

The GHHI is a force multiplier adding more effectiveness to other groups and getting maximum resources into low-income homes to improve lives.


Z-Man- I’m concerned that the IRA tries to do too much too fast and that this will have a negative effect on our economy. Move to solar power and windmills benefits our adversary China by requiring raw materials which China controls. Other countries such as China and India won’t comply. US efforts won’t change the climate.

Ruth Ann Norton- Was an economist in college. Experts say that IRA is budget neutral. The Amazons need to pay their share. New areas of development the government often goes first (e.g. computers, pharma). We need to make up for decades of deferred maintenance. Need to use evidence and science to create standards and then enforce them. We need to fund investments and track outcomes. A big effort is necessary for the environment and public health.

Ruth Ann Norton- Invitation to attend the GHHI Executive Leadership Institute in April 2023.

Z-Man signing off
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Re: Episode 673: Ruth Ann Norton - Green and Healthy Homes Initiative - What Success Looks Like

Post by RadioJoe »

What a powerhouse! Ruth Ann Norton has taken the GHHI to a level that is amazing. They are now one of the most important not for profits in the IAQ and energy efficiency world. We appreciate having her join us and talk to listeners about "What Success Looks Like". We will be keeping a close eye on the GHHI and keeping our audience updated.
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