Welcome to Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Greater Syracuse!

Improving the health, safety and energy efficiency of homes in the City of Syracuse.


Who We Are


Housing & Health Partners


Funded in Part By

City of Syracuse | New York State Office of the Attorney General | Onondaga County | Central New York Community Foundation, Inc.
CNY Fair Housing | Syracuse Habitat for Humanity | PEACE, Inc. | Health Foundation of Western & Central New York

What We Do


Administered at Home HeadQuarters, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) Greater Syracuse is designed to streamline programs that address health, safety, energy efficiency, and weatherization. The initiative braids local, state, federal, and philanthropic investment into an integrated, comprehensive approach to better serve low and moderate income families in Syracuse. This new model will help the Syracuse community save time and resources while increasing efficiency and, most importantly, improving the health and wellness of residents in our community.


The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative® (GHHI®) is a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. Formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone housing intervention programs with an integrated, whole-house approach that produces sustainable green, healthy and safe homes. As a result, GHHI is improving health, economic and social outcomes for families across the country.

With support from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Energy (DOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council on Foundations and numerous philanthropic partners. Currently, there are 25 GHHI sites nationally: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, Jackson, Lansing, Lewiston-Auburn, Marin County, Memphis, New Haven, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rhode Island, Salt Lake, San Antonio, Springfield, Staten Island, and Syracuse.


Under the direction, organization and funding of the Central New York Community Foundation, community stakeholders began meeting to promote a new model of approaching homes in need of repair from a holistic approach. Since 2013, stakeholders envisioned that this holistic approach would look at both the health of the home as well as the well-being of the occupants with the added benefit that this will “reduce the wear and tear on families."


GHHI Greater Syracuse works in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies, local non-profits, and philanthropic partners to align, braid, and coordinate funding and programs to create green, healthy, and safe homes for low and moderate income families.

Where possible, partners agree to align programs, braid funds, and coordinate agencies services to the greatest extent feasible and allowed by law or regulation

Align: GHHI Greater Syracuse aligns existing programs and services from local agencies to assistant in reducing hazards in the home.

Braid: GHHI Greater Syracuse braids and identifies funds and resources for interventions.

Coordinate: GHHI Greater Syracuse coordinates services through a network of partnerships.

This approach to housing rehabilitation drives collaboration, streamlines services and integrates healthy housing interventions.

What is a Green & Healthy Home


Why is GHHI Important?

With an aging housing and high poverty rate, many children and their families are forced to live in homes that are unhealthy, unsafe and not energy efficient. GHHI Greater Syracuse is part of the national movement to implement housing strategies for creating healthy, safe, energy efficient homes for low to moderate income families.


  • Asthma symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. These symptoms are often brought on by exposure to allergens, such as dust, pollen, mold, cigarette smoke, as dust, pollen, mold, and animal dander, or by exertion and stress.
  • Improving poor housing conditions and other factors that impact air quality can help prevent asthma and reduce incidence of symptomatic episodes.
  • Asthma affects 15.7 million non-institutionalized adults nationwide. (iii)
  • In the past thirty years, asthma has become one of the most common long-term diseases of children. (iii)
  • From 2012-2014, New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) researched the average annual age-adjusted rate of emergency room visits due to asthma Onondaga County is well above average at 68.8 for children under the age of 18 and over 48.7 for adults over the age of 18. (iii)


  • The national median household income is $53,482.
  • The City of Syracuse median household income $31,566

Source: 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates


  • City of Syracuse contains 64,938 housing units.
  • 43.9% of the housing units were built before 1939 and 90.6% of the housing units were built before 1979.
  • Units built after 1980 comprise only 9.4% of the housing stock, which makes overall housing rehabilitation and lead risk reduction a daunting task.
  • Of the total occupied housing units, 38.5% are owner-occupied.


  • High level of lead in blood can harm a child’s growth, behavior, and ability to learn.
  • New York State requires doctors to test all children at age 1 year and again at age 2 years.
  • The average lead test result of young children is about 2mcg/dL. (Read more about how to protect your child from lead poisoning from the NYS Department of Health)
  • In the City of Syracuse there are 12,395 children less than six years old. Of those children 5,555 (48%) were tested in 2015, according to Onondaga County Health Department. The results indicate that 631 (11.3%) children had elevated blood lead levels (i)
  • Onondaga County ranks 2nd highest out of 62 counties in the state for the percent of children tested (59.7%) twice before their third birthday. (ii)
  • Onondaga County is in the top half of the state with a ranking of 21 out of 62 counties with children that have elevated blood levels. (ii)


  • Radon comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water; creating a gas that occurs naturally, but can become a health hazard when it builds up indoors.
  • Radon screening levels of 4 pCi/L or more require some radon mitigation to reduce radon levels in a home.
  • Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse have high levels of radon. During radon screening levels reported in 1987 and February 2016, the NYS Department of Health screening has seen very little change in radon levels. The average radon screening in Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse reported results above 4 pCi/L; except for first floor testing in homes in the City of Syracuse. (iv)


  • A Center for Disease Control and Prevention study showed that 56% of fall injuries occur at home. (i)
  • In America, the average hospitalization cost for a fall injury is $ 35,000. (ii)
  • In New York State, among adults 65 and older who are hospitalized due to a fall 60% end up in a nursing home or rehabilitation center, 11% suffer a traumatic brain injury, and 27% experience a hip fracture.
  • Onondaga County is home to more than 89,000 adults age 60 and older according to the 2010 U.S. Census. (iv)
  • According to the New York State Department of Health, Falls Hospitalization rates for residents aged 75-84 continues to gradually rise in Onondaga County. (v)

“The Architecture Of Segregation,” By Paul A. Jargowsky

  • Nationally, the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods has almost doubled since 2000, rising from 7.2 million to 13.8 million in 2013
  • Syracuse has ranked fifth with the highest rate of poverty out of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas.
  • In comparison to the 2000 Census and 2009-2013 Census Data, Syracuse has the highest level of concentration of poverty for African Americans and Hispanics.

Reference__(i) Onondaga County Lead Prevention Poisoning Program, 2015.
(ii) NYSDOH Childhood Lead Poisoning Surveillance data; www.health.ny.gov
(iii) New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS), 2012-2014
(iv) February 2016 and 1987, NYS Department of Health, Measured Basement Screening Radon Levels by County. *Report includes results from charcoal and soil detectors
(v) Stevens JA, Corso PS, Finkelstein EA, Miller TR. The costs of fatal and nonfatal falls among older adults. Injury Prevention 2006a;12:290–5.
(vi) Onondaga County Falls hospitalization rate per 10,000 - Aged 75-84 years, 2004-2013 NYS Department of Health