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Healthy Homes Resources

Healthy Homes Information for COVID-19

With concerns about COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) many people are thinking about how to safely clean their homes.  Some of the cleaners we normally recommend will not kill the virus.  Some of the chemicals (like bleach) that will kill the virus can be dangerous if they are not used properly.  This page shares information about healthy housekeeping for people who are concerned about the COVID-19 virus. 

More information

Resources for Renters

Many renters have concerns about hazards in their homes. Asking a landlord to fix hazards – and knowing what to do if they do not – can be confusing. Some renters worry they may be evicted if they ask for repairs, even though such retaliation is illegal. These materials were written with local partners to help tenants and others learn about the renters’ rights and responsibilities. These materials focus on the City of Rochester, but many of the tips relate to renters elsewhere.  You are welcome to download and share these materials. We encourage you to check here regularly for updates – resources and rules change over time.

Renters: Does Your Home Need Repairs?
This 2-page flier explains how to ask for repairs and follow up with local resources

Inquilinos: ¿Su casa necesita reparaciones?

Este folleto de 2 páginas explica cómo solicitar reparaciones y hacer un seguimiento con los recursos locales.

What Renters Should Know
This 2 page flier explains more about renters’ rights and responsibilities under New York State law

Top Ten Things Renters Should know
This 1-page colorful infographic can be printed as a handout or as a poster.  It provides very basic tips and resources for more information about renters’ rights and responsibilities.

Many people are having trouble paying their rent because of COVID-19. Local agencies have funding that may help pay back and current rent.  Call 2-1-1 or visit the City of Rochester’s Eviction Prevention website to learn more.

Local Healthy Homes Resources

Many local organizations offer Environmental Health information and resources for residents in the Rochester, NY region.

Services offered by local organizations, sorted by home health hazard

Finger Lakes Children's Environmental Health Center

Healthy Homes Checklists

The information contained on this website is a lot to take in all at once! These checklists will help you look through your home and take care of hazards you might find:

Healthy Homes, Healthy Families

Healthy Homes, Healthy Families is a resource guide developed by the COEC in collaboration with the Rochester Healthy Homes Partnership, Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, and Finger Lakes Children's Environmental Health Center. This guide provides the information included in this virtual tour, and additional resources.

Click on your preferred version below to download the guide. For more information, please contact Katrina Korfmacher at or (585) 273-4304.

Healthy Homes DVD Project

In 2010, COEC staff partnered with WXXI Public Broadcasting to produce the Healthy Homes DVD Project. This series of seven video segments highlights tips for maintaining a healthy home. Segments include: healthy housekeeping, pests, mold, lead, chemicals, asbestos, and air quality. The project was funded by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute's Community Grants Program.

Visit the links below to view the DVD segments, or contact us for a DVD including the healthy home video segments, and Lead Awareness for Parents (viewable in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language).

Contact: Katrina Korfmacher or (585) 273-4304

Video links:

English with ASL and English subtitles
Spanish with ASL and Spanish subtitles

A Healthy Homes Needs Assessment for Rochester, NY

The primary goal of this pilot needs assessment was to analyze existing data to identify key home environmental health issues in Rochester, determine additional data needs, and guide future healthy housing efforts. This report summarizes City of Rochester housing data from multiple sources, and outlines goals for further assessment. 

A Healthy Homes Needs Assessment for Rochester, NY - Pilot Project Report

A Healthy Homes Needs Assessment for Rochester, NY - Report Appendices

Learning from Others: A Home Visiting Model to Improve Clinical Outcomes for Children

Kevin Kennedy, Managing Director of the Center for Environmental Health at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, is a national leader in healthy homes, home assessment, and housing/health research.  Mr. Kennedy visited Rochester to discuss the efforts at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City to integrate home environmental exposure and hazard mitigation into comprehensive care coordination for children with chronic illnesses.  For 15 years, the Center for Environmental Health has conducted assessments for a wide range of respiratory irritants and chemical exposures in over 1,000 homes of pediatric patients.  The CEH conducts home assessments for children with environmentally-related disease or vulnerability.  Although the majority of children served have asthma, other health conditions include lead exposure and immunocompromised patients.  Mr. Kennedy shared his experience – conducting home assessments, structuring and financing a home visit program, and research results relating to home visits – with many Rochester-area academic, clinical, government, and community partners.

With support from the Center for Community Health and the Environmental Health Sciences Center, Mr. Kennedy visited Rochester Nov. 19-20, 2015.  Mr. Kennedy gave several talks to community and University audiences, including Public Health Grand rounds (access the recorded presentation here), as well as numerous meetings with stakeholders interested in promoting healthy housing. 

Rochester's Healthy Home: An Innovative Hands-on Environmental Health Demonstration Project

This white paper documents the successes of Rochester's Healthy Home project; details the process of developing the Healthy Home, building collaborations, and interacting with visitors; and describes new efforts in the community now that the Healthy Home is closed. Please contact Katrina Korfmacher at or (585) 273-4304 if you have questions or would like more information.

Guide to Replication

Rochester's Healthy Home originated as a hands-on demonstration project in a high-risk neighborhood of Rochester. The Healthy Home was open for 3 years, during which it welcomed over 3500 visitors. This guide to replication is meant to be used as a tool by other organizations to start demonstration projects in their own communities. The guide lists the original displays found in the Healthy Home, and how the partnership developed. Copies of the posters and other materials used in the original home are available upon request. Please contact Katrina Korfmacher at or (585) 273-4304 for more information.

Download the Guide to Replication

Prepared by Environmental Health Sciences COEC staff with support from NIEHS grant #ES001247.