HUD Healthy Homes

January 21, 2016

Expanding the Definition of Green: Impacts of Green and Active Living Design on Health in Low Income Housing

The objective of the federal Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Healthy Homes Technical Studies (HHTS) Grant Program is to support research on controlling housing-related health and safety hazards.  From 2010 through 2013 the Rutgers Center for Green Building coordinated a team of researchers at Rutgers and Polytechnic Institute of NYU to collaborate with a South Bronx community development corporation and a group of affordable housing residents to improve health-promoting behaviors and outcomes in their green building.  Interventions that were context-relevant and reviewed by the community-based partners were incorporated at the building as well as individual household levels based on knowledge of the area demographics and information that was collected during interviews and observations.  The greatest building and household exposures related to chronic health concerns were pest infiltration, high concentrations of particulate matter (PM) in many of the apartments form either indoor or outdoor sources, and indications of inadequate ventilation and a “leaky” building envelope.  Also identified were several underutilized resources for healthy activities in the buildings.


  • Use by residents of a roof-top garden was increased when programming was included in building activities.
  • An IPM model was revised and provided to building management.  Follow-up pest complaints were lower than baseline complaints.
  • Participating residents reported increased water consumption using reusable water bottles that were distributed.
  • Lower PM findings were observed in apartments that used readily available microfiber mops and dust cloths.
  • Policy recommendations included revisiting building code ventilation requirements for improving indoor air quality

The Rutgers Center for Green Building has been awarded a subsequent HHTS grant to continue work on detecting housing-related hazards using innovative technology.

Recent Posts

Nikpour Receives Office of Disability Services Award

Professor Fereydoun Nikpour was selected for the Office of Disability Services Faculty Honor Roll. The Faculty Honor Roll is a new initiative to recognize instructors who go above and beyond to support the work of the Office of Disability Services (ODS). ODS staff...

Heldrich Report: NJ’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs

New Jersey's Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs, Infrastructure, and Equity Assessment New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and Executive Order 315 set a goal to reduce fossil fuel usage to 100% clean energy by 2035. The Executive Order also called for...

Shaul Picker Receives 2024 Mortensen-Voorhees Award

Shaul Picker is the 2024 recipient of the Mortensen-Voorhees Award for Achievement in Transportation Studies. This award is granted annually to the highest-achieving student with a concentration in transportation at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Urban Planning and...

NJSPL – Key Insights from Early Offshore Wind Implementation

By Jessica Parineet Offshore wind development is in its early stages in the United States, with just under one gigawatt (GW) of utility scale capacity constructed. State decarbonization goals have catalyzed industry progress thus far, however the Biden administration...

EJB Talks: Political Update with Stuart Shapiro and Amy Cobb

Analyzing Trump's Guilty Verdict and the 2024 Election Outlook Stuart Shapiro welcomes back Amy Cobb MPAP '18 for a political update in the final EJB Talks episode of the spring 2024 season. They discuss the potential consequences of Trump's guilty verdict for...

Upcoming Events

Latest Past Events

Jersey City Alumni Mixer

Zeppelin Hall Biergarten 88 Liberty View Dr, Jersey City

Join us for an alumni mixer in #JerseyCity on Thursday, June 6th at Zeppelin Hall Biergarten. Parking for Zeppelin Hall is FREE - more information can be found here: This […]