Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Healthy Homes Initiative

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

November 16, 2006








In low-income neighborhoods such as Bushwick, poor housing conditions and poor maintenance practices in rental apartments lead to rodent and insect infestations and the use of pesticides, which can trigger asthma flare-ups. The Healthy Homes Initiative taught families with asthma how to reduce their exposure to indoor triggers such as dust, mold, mildew, rodent infestation, bedbugs, cockroaches, and pesticides.

Bushwick has the highest hospitalization rate for children with asthma in Brooklyn, four times the citywide average, and asthma is a leading cause of missed school days and hospitalizations for area children.

The Make The Road By Walking’s Healthy Homes Initiative supported a community survey of as many as 5,000 homes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to identify potential indoor asthma triggers and to create a Bushwick Asthma Registry. The Healthy Homes Initiative was designed to inform at least 3,000 Bushwick residents about reducing exposure to indoor asthma triggers and to identify approximately 750 households with asthmatics. Major project activities included: (1) creation of a Bushwick Asthma Registry that tracks information about individual asthmatics, in conjunction with the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; (2) a Bushwick Asthma Summit; (3) legal and support services for access to health care and housing code problems, and sustained education about indoor asthma dangers for 150 families; and (4) bilingual (Spanish and English) street theater performances to make people aware of the problem. Make the Road by Walking is a membership organization in the low-income community of Bushwick, Brooklyn. This organization confronts the severe economic marginalization and the hazardous health and housing conditions suffered by the more than 800,000 people who reside in Eastern Brooklyn and Western Queens.