Impact Evaluation of a Healthy Homes Program

1/17/2024 6:23:00 AM Hannah Wirth

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission logoAcademic mentor: Sarah Geiger

Community partner: Champaign County Regional Planning Commission

Project description: 
This project will leverage existing work being done by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (RPC), which is partnering with other entities to operate Ameren Illinois' Healthier Homes Channel.  This program builds on existing utility energy efficiency programs to deliver healthy home improvements. 

This project will analyze indoor environmental quality data that is already going to be collected by the RPC before and after interventions to estimate potential health impacts at a societal level if such improvements were made broadly. The RPC team plans to collect time-resolved data on carbon dioxide, volatile organic chemicals, humidity, and respirable particles, and also may collect integrated data on contaminants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and allergens in dust when applicable.  RPC's team expects to treat 95 homes in 2024, and be well underway during the summer CAS program period.  Collected data will be provided to UIUC mentor Geiger and the scholar.

Health data will not be available, so we will not be able to estimate direct benefits to the specific households receiving interventions. However, based on existing literature, we will estimate potential improvements at a societal level, based on the impact of different environmental triggers on various health outcomes such as asthma and COPD.

This analysis will provide a preliminary basis for assessing the impact of such programs on health in homes in Illinois.  Depending on the results, it may be viewed as the foundation of supporting expansion of such programs in Illinois and beyond.

Role of the Community-Academic Scholar:
The RPC will provide anonymized environmental data to Prof. Geiger and the scholar and will be available to respond to inquiries about details of interventions and house characteristics that may influence the results. The RPC mentor, Paul Francisco, has decades of experience in healthy homes research and practice. Mr. Francisco will participate in multiple project meetings to describe the project during scholar onboarding, discuss the data being collected, and support the scholar as they develop the project deliverables.