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Lessons Learned from Mini-grants to Support the Development of a Healthy Homes Workforce

May 1, 2019

Can small grants enable programs to substantially increase the number of workers trained in healthy homes issues? Can this lead to more fundamental changes in policy, partnerships, or program sustainability? In the past, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) has used the mini-grant approach to encourage innovative local lead poisoning prevention and policy development initiatives. The mini-grant approach enabled organizations to pilot new programs by providing additional resources for operations, outreach to the wider community, and dedicated staff that could not be accommodated through their regular funding.In 2017 and 2018, NCHH, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, provided competitive mini-grants for 13 communities nationally to expand the range of models and best practices for building and sustaining the healthy homes workforce. NCHH defined the "healthy homes workforce" in broad terms: individuals who provided education, repairs, referrals, or policy support to assure homes were free of environmental health hazardsthat trigger adverse health outcomes. The competition was open to governments, educational institutions, public housing, nonprofit, and tribal communities.