Graduate students working with Professor Joel Cantor prepared a Healthy Homes Initiative for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Focusing on the cities of Paterson and Newark, the team identified multiple mental and physical health issues that arise from inadequate housing. The report concludes:
Healthy Housing Initiative should focus on providing home improvement assistance to low and moderate income households for a wide range of health-related repairs. Interventions of priority include those focused on abatement of asthma triggers in the home, in a cost-effective manner. Our final recommendations discuss how the Healthy Homes Initiative can take a community-based approach to improving housing — from buying and hiring locally to integrating feedback from residents. Overall, our recommendations target housing-related health threats specific to the demographics and housing conditions of Newark and Paterson. If implemented, they should ultimately improve residents’ health outcomes, reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations and increase the quality of life.