Helping Richmond Residents Keep Homes and Families Safe
We offer healthy housing services using an integrated approach that considers the well-being of the occupants, the structure, and the potential health and safety hazards. Our two main programs are the Lead Safe Program and the Healthy Home Initiative. On this page, you can learn more about our programs and how we can help you keep your family safe from lead exposure and other household hazards such as mold and pests.
Lead Safe Program
The goal of the Lead Safe Program is to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the City of Richmond. Childhood lead poisoning is a completely preventable disease that may be caused by a number of sources in a child’s environment. However, the most common source is chipping/peeling paint and lead contaminated dust (from lead-based paint) in houses built before 1978.
Lead interferes with normal brain development and may cause reduced intelligence, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities in children. Children who have lead poisoning may not show any early signs or symptoms. Therefore, having your child tested is the only way to know for sure whether he/she is lead poisoned. Ask your child’s doctor to perform this simple test.
Research has shown that it may be possible for pregnant women to pass lead to their unborn fetus. Pregnant women should take certain precautions to protect themselves and their unborn child. This is especially important if they work in an industry that may expose them to lead or if they suspect that they were lead poisoned as a child.
The Lead Safe Program provides lead education, screening, and free lead risk assessments/inspections for lead poisoned children. Please call (804) 205-3726 for information.
STEPS TO HELP PREVENT LEAD POISONING
- Wet clean floors and windowsills in the home regularly.
- Wash children’s hands and toys frequently.
- Be aware of chipping paint in the home. Use lead-safe practices to make sure painted surfaces are maintained or repaired. Improper paint repairs could create more hazardous lead poison conditions. Call the Health Department for advice.
- Be aware of toys, jewelry, dishes, pottery, and foods that may contain lead.
- Be aware of hobbies or jobs that may involve working with lead (stained glass making, pottery, painting/construction work).
- Physician Referral Form for Healthy Homes Assessment
- Virginia Blood Lead Testing for Children:
- Health Director's Letter to Physicians regarding Cursory Lead Screening of Patient's Home
What is the Healthy Homes Initiative?
The Richmond City Health District's Lead-Safe & Healthy Homes Initiative (LSHHI) takes a holistic approach to preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards and deficiencies. We empower citizens and the Richmond community through education and intervention to properly maintain a healthy and safe home.
Program Brochure [English] | Program Brochure [Spanish]
Through the City funding, we offer free Healthy Homes Assessment to residents of Richmond City if there is a concern that the housing condition is causing a safety concern or aggravating one's health problem. Please call 804-205-3500 Ext 7 to leave a home assessment inquiry.
We offer free group workshops to the Richmond City communities. We also provide customized (fees applied) half-day or day-long workshops covering multiple topics. To schedule a session, please call Yvonne Johnson at (804) 205-3727.
Workshop Training Brochure
Healthy Home Tips and Practices:
Richmond City Healthy Homes Coalition
The goal of the LSHHI, along with our many community partners, is to address home-based factors that can result in injury or illness and/or exacerbate or prolong existing health problems. We help provide residents with an understanding of the cause and effect linkage of housing related conditions to health outcomes and provide recommendations for prevention, remediation, and referrals for intervention.
- Controlling Home-Based Asthma Triggers (English or Spanish)
- VA Department of Health Asthma Burden Report
- Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU – You Can Control Asthma Now (UCAN) Program
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Asthma
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Asthma Community Network
Presently, there are no federal, state or local regulations pertaining to mold in residential buildings. Mold in rental units are the responsibilities of landlords and tenants regarding prevention, control and/or abatement of mold (VA statues – Civil not regulatory).https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/12/2016/02/Landlord-Tenant-Handbook.pdf
- Landlord Immunity in Compliance with Residential Lead-Based Paint
- VA Residential Landlord Tenant Act 2015
- Retaliation Prohibited by Landlord (PDF)
- Central VA Legal Aid Society – Overview of Tenant Responsibilities (PDF)
- Pest Management Issues and Landlord-Tenant Responsibilities (PDF)
The RVA Breathes+ Pilot program is designed specifically to serve children of elementary school age, who live in the City of Richmond, and have asthma. The enrollees and families will receive 4 intervention sessions, one month apart, to be conducted by a team of Community Health Worker (from one of our community partners) and a Healthy Homes Specialist (from RCHD). The four sessions will cover basic asthma management education (including a little bit of physiology), medication usage & management, healthy homes assessment, and home-based trigger/irritant control and avoidance. Both the child client and caregiver(s) will have separate opportunities to engage with the Team and receive age-appropriate education. As a part of the process, the Team will connect and communicate with healthcare providers and school nurses, as necessary. The participating family will receive intervention education and resources and may receive referrals for other services to better enable them to manage the child’s asthma.
Need help finding resources?
Call (804) 205-3500 or 211
Follow us, stay informed, and tag your posts with #StayHomeRVA and #RVAStrong.