The Our Housing is Our Health (OHOH) Campaign is a training and organizing initiative expanding the capacity of low-income communities of color in Northern Manhattan, and throughout New York City, to improve children’s environmental health. WE ACT’s OHOH Campaign has 3 primary goals:
To organize individuals and organizations around the health effects of harmful indoor exposures to exposures to susceptible groups such as children and those with respiratory problems, and train them on methods to minimize these exposures;
To identify and pursue a needed change in housing policy or practice; and
To develop a citywide network of housing and health organizations that will share information and resources related to housing and children’s health and will mobilize their constituencies for policy change.
Since 2004, the OHOH Campaign has carried out numerous trainings and set up strong partnerships with Northern Manhattan parents, concerned community members and community-based organizations throughout NYC to address housing health issues to improve children’s health. In 2006, addressing a specific environmental exposure identified by the community, WE ACT tackled the problem of mold in New York City’s low-income housing through the implementation of the “Mold is Taking Hold” initiative of the OHOH Campaign. In December 2006, in collaboration with WE ACT, the Office of the New York City Public Advocate issued the report Unhealthy Exposure: Mold in New York City Homes (PDF). The study confirmed that reports of mold contamination – a severe asthma trigger – have been rising in New York City for the past five years and made concrete suggestions for addressing the growing problem, especially important in communities like Central Harlem where 1 in 4 children suffers from asthma (a rate far above the national average). Most recently, through collaborative advocacy, the OHOH Campaign succeeded in improving New York City policy on toxic mold, better protecting
As the Mayor and City agencies develop plans to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2013 to address New York City’s affordable housing crisis, it is crucial that these plans focus not only on availability of affordable housing but on ensuring healthy living conditions for low-income residents and their children. With a strong network of allies and scientific evidence provided through our partnership with the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH), WE ACT is in a key position to address housing quality and its impact on children’s health.
Read about The Northern Manhattan Garbage, Pests & Pesticides Campaign, an initiative born of the OHOH Campaign.
Mold is Taking Hold:
Mold Fact Sheet (PDF)
Mold - Health Effects (PDF)
Mold - Legal Rights (PDF)