Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Expands Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) in Partnership with Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation
Healthier Together CAPP+ Pilot Project Provides Health Education and Home Repairs to Reduce Asthma Triggers, Create Healthier Homes for Children
PHILADELPHIA – Dec. 17, 2018 – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in partnership with the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), today announced a new Community Asthma Prevention Program Plus (CAPP+) Home Repairs Program, developed to address the impact of unhealthy housing on pediatric asthma outcomes in West Philadelphia neighborhoods. CAPP+ is the pilot initiative of Healthier Together, CHOP’s new umbrella initiative that focuses on some of the most pressing health and economic needs in neighborhoods surrounding the hospital’s campus.
The announcement was made at a press conference attended by President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Madeline Bell, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney, PHDC Executive Director David Thomas, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and other hospital and civic leaders, as well as families participating in the program.
“Healthier Together has a simple vision: to give every child a fair chance at a healthy future,” said Madeline Bell, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We are fortunate to live in a city that has many private and public sector change agents who have tremendous expertise. These partners share our commitment to doing the right thing for our most vulnerable children.”
Asthma – which affects approximately one out of four children in West Philadelphia – is the primary focus of CAPP+. Through a grant to PHDC, CHOP aims to further reduce asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations by expanding the focus of its award-winning CAPP program to home repairs. CAPP’s community health workers will continue providing home asthma education and environmental intervention as they have since the program began in 1997, while PHDC will concentrate on remediating asthma triggers in the home, such as moisture and mold caused by plumbing leaks, carpet removal and pest infestations to improve air quality. Air quality monitors will be installed in every home, as will dehumidifiers when needed. CAPP+ participants may also be eligible for PHDC’s Basic System Repair Program, which provides repairs to correct electrical, plumbing, heating, structural and roofing emergencies.
Focusing on the actual homes patients are living in, CAPP+ has identified 10 homes to be part of the pilot initiative. Selected patients must be enrolled in the CAPP program, have three or more ED visits in a year, live in the targeted geographic area and be a homeowner. Currently, remediation is underway on two of the homes; one is near completion. After repairs are finalized, patients and asthma ED visits will continue to be monitored for a year.
“After 20 years of working with families in West Philadelphia, I am convinced that the increased prevalence of asthma and poor housing are closely related,” said Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, Founder and Medical Director of CAPP at CHOP. “This innovative and exciting initiative allows us to focus on ensuring that homes in this community are ‘asthma friendly’ and improving child asthma outcomes for underserved populations.”
Besides fewer ED visits and hospital stays, benchmarks of CAPP+ include fewer missed school days for kids and work for families, and lower healthcare costs. Another priority for this program is a mutual agreement that PHDC will use minority- and women-owned business enterprises for home repairs and supplies whenever possible.
“The City is proud to partner with CHOP to launch CAPP+, a vital tool to address unhealthy housing and help our most vulnerable homeowners and their families improve their quality of living,” said Mayor James Kenney. “We see it as a win-win to be able to support households in need while also providing contractors the opportunity to work on these homes and sustain their businesses.”
About Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 546-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.
About Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation: Founded in 1964, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) is a nonprofit housing corporation dedicated to improving the lives of low-income Philadelphians. Through its home preservation programs, PHDC makes it possible for residents of Philadelphia to remain in their homes by improving the structural integrity, mechanical safety, energy efficiency and accessibility of their homes.
Homeowners Begin Receiving Free Home Repair & Modification Assistance Authorized By City Council
Ramped Up Housing Preservation Programs Will Help Stabilize Neighborhoods, Create Jobs
May 17, 2017
Mayor Jim Kenney, Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District) on Wednesday joined City housing officials and affordable housing advocates to celebrate fresh funding for key City housing preservation assistance programs.
Thousands of Philadelphians on waiting lists for the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation’s (PHDC) Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP), Adaptive Modifications Program (AMP), and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) will soon receive urgent home repairs and modifications that will allow them to remain in their houses for years to come. The first of many residents have begun receiving assistance because of $100 million authorized by City Council last year to eliminate the three-to-five year waiting lists for programs that assist with home repairs, long-term disability modifications, and energy-efficiency weatherization.
“These programs are very important to our most vulnerable neighbors,” Mayor Kenney said. “These funds help repair roofs, fix heaters, replace sewer pipes, and enable other repairs that not only help a homeowner’s quality of living, but help keep them in their homes by providing these much needed repairs that may be prohibitively expensive otherwise.”
“Housing preservation assistance is a cost-efficient and highly effective way to create jobs, prevent homelessness and displacement, and stabilize neighborhoods at risk for decline,” Council President Clarke said. “With the help of committed partners in the Administration and the affordable housing advocacy community, Philadelphia can be an example to other cities of managing growth in an equitable way. Homes are not islands; we should all care about our neighbors and about making sure every Philadelphian is able to live in a community of choice.”
“As a longtime advocate for housing preservation, I am pleased to have one of the first homes
impacted by these additional funds be in the 9th District,” said City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker. “Residents in this district, and across the City, have been waiting for services, but funding has been very limited. These additional funds give PHDC the ability to positively impact so many homeowners across our great city! I am glad to be a part of that today.”
In 2016, Council President Clarke proposed a modest increase in the real estate transfer tax to raise $100 million to eliminate the BSRP, AMP, and WAP backlogs and to ensure more Philadelphians could remain in homes suffering from wear caused by age and weather. Low-income residents and seniors on fixed incomes often struggle to pay for home repairs, which left unaddressed can create larger problems such as high energy bills, mold, or severe structural damage.
As of 2014, Philadelphia had a homeownership rate of 52.9 percent, higher than the average for the 30 largest U.S. cities. Nearly 36 percent of Philadelphia homeowners have annual household incomes at or below $35,000 – the second highest low-income homeownership rate among the 30 largest cities. Philadelphia’s housing stock is also older relative to other cities: half of all owner-occupied housing here was built before 1945.
City officials and affordable housing advocates spoke outside the home of Hagar Redmond, who was receiving plumbing and insulation repairs more than three years after being approved for BHRP assistance.
“I am thankful to City Council and PHDC for allowing me to have one less thing to worry about,” said Redmond, who works as a Philadelphia Police dispatcher and resides with her daughter and grandson. “Having a leaky roof and cracked floor sent my utility bills up, and made me worry about making ends meet. Thanks to this program, I can have peace of mind that my grandchild will be warm in winter.”
“Since January, PHDC has been hiring and training additional staff and partnering with additional contractors to develop an effective strategy to administer these additional funds to the existing waiting list,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “We are excited to be here today to serve this resident, and look forward to serving many Philadelphians in significantly less time.”
Maria N. Gonzalez, president of HACE and board vice president of the Philadelphia Association of CDCs (PACDC), said: “Community development advocates have long been frustrated by the limited amount of resources available to meet demand for affordable housing assistance. This new funding to attack waiting lists for critical home repair programs is a great relief, and will go a long way toward making sure more Philadelphians live in healthy and affordable housing.”
BSRP provides free repairs to roofs, electrical, plumbing and heating systems for owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia. AMP is designed to help Philadelphians with permanent physical disabilities remain in their homes. WAP provides free weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements to owner-occupied houses and tenant-occupied rental units located in the City of Philadelphia. Each program has income requirements and other criteria for participation.
For more information on these programs and to apply for assistance, residents are encouraged to explore this website.