Where we live not only affects our socioeconomic health, but also our physical health. Lead-based paint poisoning, second-hand smoke, mold and carbon monoxide remain significant threats to families, particularly low-income families with infants and young children. Prevention is the only way to eliminate the negative effects of a hazardous home environment; the impacts of conditions such as mold and lead cannot be reversed.
In an effort to improve the quality and safety of housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented its Lead Hazard Control program and the Healthy Homes Program, which take a comprehensive approach to address a variety of environmental health and safety concerns faced by HUD tenants. Many HUD housing providers have in turn developed methods for hazard assessment and intervention including resident education. HUD has also required PHAs to implement smoke-free policies in its public housing properties.