HUD Healthy Homes Award Categories and Criteria

HUD Award for Healthy Homes

Description of Award Categories

Award submissions will be considered in one of three categories described on this page. An organization may submit only a single application as the lead agency. Organizations may participate as partnering organizations in more than one application.

Public Housing/Multifamily Housing

  • Eligible Applicants: Public Housing Authorities; Tribal Designated Housing Entities; multifamily housing owners and managers; and resident organizations (for example, tenant task forces) in public or private assisted housing.
  • Nomination Examples: A Public Housing Authority’s universal adoption of smoke-free housing; adoption of integrated pest management policies; or tenant task force creating and implementing a resident health and energy program.
  • Outcome Data Examples: Number of residents impacted by policy; number or rate of residents with improved health outcomes due to implementation of healthy homes activity; number or rate of reduction in asthmatic episodes among residents; or measurable reduction of indoor air pollutants related to policy.

Policy, Education and Research Innovation

  • Eligible Applicants: State, County, City, Tribes, regional units of government (including legislative bodies); healthcare providers (including hospitals); universities and schools of higher education; nonprofit organizations; health insurance providers; advocacy organizations; university extension offices; schools at K-12 levels; faith-based organizations; labor unions; tribal associations; childcare providers; and disaster recovery organizations.
  • Nomination Examples: Creating adopted local/state code enhancements with significant health outcomes or impacts; innovative programs in lead, asthma, radon, injury prevention, smoke-free housing/smoking cessation, maternal child health programs, and home visiting programs; developing a system for enhancing housing and/or code inspection efficiency and effectiveness; research related to environmental conditions, such as allergens, and resident health.
  • Outcome Data Examples: Numbers of localities adopting public policy change(s); or number of residents directly and indirectly affected by the public policy change(s). Research Innovation applicants should have recent (or in process) peer-reviewed published articles. (See more information below under Research Innovation Applications.)

Cross Program Coordination

  • Eligible Applicants: State, County, City, regional units of government; healthcare providers (including hospitals); housing providers; nonprofit organizations; health insurance providers; advocacy organizations; weatherization and inspectional services; entities associated with federal agencies such as National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP); and organizations representing affordable housing developers and builders.
  • Nomination Examples: Comprehensive cross-program coordination (for example, a county health department coordinating asthma interventions with Community Development Block Grant program and/or HOME program rehabilitation resources; a national or regional foundation creates and funds a healthy housing program based on cross sector coordination.)
  • Outcome Data Examples: Number or rate of residents with improved health outcomes due to implementation of healthy homes activity (for example, reduction in asthmatic episodes among residents or falls in the home among elderly people).

Criteria for Judging

Applications will be judged on meeting eligibility criteria, completeness, timeliness, and employing the required format. Note: Previous year’s award winners are ineligible to apply for the award this year. Applications will be subject to a thorough screening and review of eligibility, program/technical, and impact/effectiveness. Applications will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges selected by NEHA.

The evaluation process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria in the following list. Due to the wide variety of projects that can be considered, a project does not need to address each criterion. In the text of the application description section (the five-page maximum policy/program narrative), the application should describe:

  • Policy/Program Innovation: Specific emphasis on the policy/program’s impact on a health/housing condition(s) previously unaddressed or specific improvements made to existing programs. Policies/programs do not necessarily need to address a new subject of concern, but all policies/programs discussed should demonstrate innovative aspects of addressing the concerns.
  • Health Impact on Population: Data on the policy/program’s health outcomes including, where available, data on healthcare utilization (for example, emergency/urgent care visits, inpatient hospital stays, healthcare costs); absenteeism from school or work; data on self-reported or objectively reported symptom impact; and data on reduction of unhealthy resident activities (for example, use of tobacco products, proximity to those who smoke).
  • Impact on Physical Environment: Data on the policy/program’s effect on reducing environmental hazards (for example, lead paint hazards, asbestos, combustion gases, toxic chemicals, asthma triggers/allergens); home safety hazards; and other impacts.
  • Partnership/Collaboration: How the policy/program was developed and implemented and the role(s) that partnering organizations played. These partnering organizations do not necessarily need to be formal partners and may have played an important role in just one or a few phases of the development or implementation of the policy/program. The text should identify whether formal partnerships do exist and describe ongoing efforts to coordinate activities. Applicants should identify whether the policy/ program was or is supported by philanthropy, governmental, and/or other sources and what kind(s) of support was (were) provided.
  • Economic Sustainability: How the policy/program will continue to have impact into the future. In cases of policy advances based on statutory or regulatory actions, a description of anticipated permanence; for example, lack of sunset provision in the legislation or demonstration of ongoing industry acceptance of policy, will suffice. For program sustainability, applicants should describe permanent and temporary sources of support.

Research Innovation Applications

Under the Research Innovation category, the applications identified as Research Innovation will be judged utilizing the criteria in the following list. Policy and Education Innovation applications, whether from public or private organizations, will be reviewed in accordance with the standards established under the Criteria for Judging section. The following criteria apply only to Research Innovation applications, and applications in this category will be judged solely on these criteria.

  • The research innovation must have been published within the past two years or accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Ongoing research is not eligible. Applications should include an electronic copy of the publication or evidence of the research being accepted for publication.
  • The research innovation should address a key data gap on an important healthy homes focus area (for example, a description of the importance of the research based on the health impact of the hazard/condition or the contribution of the hazard/condition to health disparities). The importance of the hazard/condition targeted by the research and any disparate impact on vulnerable populations should be supported by referencing objective data sources (for example, published literature).
  • The application should describe how the research findings can be used for informing healthy homes programs or policies and the potential impact of the research in reducing indoor environmental hazards and ultimately improving health outcomes. (That is, address the extent to which the research findings can be translated into improved policy or practice and the resulting impact.)
  • For research conducted in the field, the application should describe to what extent community members were involved in the project. Examples of community involvement include meetings with the community members to obtain community feedback, participation of community members on a research advisory board, formal partnerships with one or more community-based organizations, and training and hiring of community members to work on the study (for example, participating as community health workers).

Important Additional Information

  • No confidential, trade-secret, or otherwise non-disclosable information may be submitted. Neither NEHA nor HUD will review an application that indicates that it contains such information.
  • Applications from individuals or for profit organizations will not be reviewed.
  • All applications become the property of NEHA, with HUD obtaining a license-free right to copy and distribute information in them. No fee is required to submit an entry or receive an award.

Tips for Completing the Application

Here are some helpful suggestions and reminders:

  • The activities or policies nominated must show measurable benefits in the health of residents and be available to low-and/or moderate-income families.
  • Organizations can submit only one application as the Applicant Organization, however they may be listed as partnering organizations in more than one application.
  • Use relevant data to help communicate the value of your program, project or research.
  • The following resources are available to help you complete your application:


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