Home weatherization is a flagship program for SNAP, perhaps second only to energy assistance in the public eye. SNAP partners with state and federal government agencies and private industry to make housing improvements that increase the energy efficiency of residential and multifamily housing in Spokane County.
In 2015 the Washington State Legislature allocated money to develop a statewide Enhanced Weatherization Plus Health network and SNAP was selected as one of the eight community action agencies in the state to receive this funding. According to SNAP Conservation Education Coordinator Kim Kreber , the initial focus of this new program is assessing the effectiveness of integrating weatherization and healthy homes services to serve households with members who have asthma and/or respiratory illnesses. This first year is considered a pilot project to develop, test and try new strategies.
The SNAP Healthy Home Repair program is a free service for qualified home-owners to help adults, children, and families gain control of their asthma. Trained staff work with individuals and families to do a comprehensive healthy home assessment, teach them how to address asthma triggers at home, reduce asthma symptoms, and complete home weatherization for eligible households.
During an initial assessment, the household receives educational guidance and develops a Family Action Plan. After the weatherization and or asthma mitigating measures are completed, SNAP performs a three-month in-home follow-up visit, and two phone follow-ups at 6 and 12 months to find out how the repairs and changes in the home have impacted the health of the residents.
Healthy Homes addresses a range of asthma triggers, such as dust mites, mold, toxic cleaning products, pests, cigarette smoke and ventilation. The goal of the Healthy Home Repair program is to improve the indoor air quality of the home, thereby reducing asthma triggers for young children and other vulnerable individuals in the home.