Towards healthy homes for all: What the RentSafe findings mean for public health in Canada

Housing is considered to be a core social determinant of health (SDH) and intersects with a number of other SDH — including food insecurity and inadequate income — to create population health inequities. While housing is considered important to health outcomes, it may not be clear to public health practitioners if action on unhealthy housing as part of social and built environments is part of their scope or role.

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RentSafe Advocates Network

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Welcome to RentSafe

CPCHE is leading an ambitious initiative to address unhealthy housing conditions affecting tenants living on low income in both urban and rural communities in Ontario. With active involvement of public health, legal aid clinics, community health and other stakeholder organizations as well as tenants and housing providers, we aim to build awareness and capacity across multiple sectors so that low-income tenants, when faced with lead, mould, radon and other indoor health threats, are better able to get the support they need to achieve healthier living conditions for themselves and their families.This 3-year initiative, launched in December 2014, is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and supported by in-kind contributions and involvement of multiple partners.

Following are documents and selected CPCHE publications relevant to RentSafe:

  1. RentSafe EquIP in Owen Sound, ON – Project Overview
    October 2018
    Fact Sheet
  2. Toward Healthy Homes for All: RentSafe Summary and Recommendations
    April 2018
  3. RentSafe Connector, Step-by-step guide
    Tip card
  4. RentSafe Survey of Small-Scale Landlords: Summary Report
    April 2018
  5. Frontline Connections: Supporting Tenants’ Rights to Healthy Housing – A RentSafe video
  6. RentSafe Tenant Advocates Retreat Summary
  7. RentSafe Update (June 2017)
    June 2017
  8. RentSafe Roundtable Summary Report
    May 2017
  9. RentSafe Survey of Small-Scale Landlords: Poster presentation
    March 29, 2017
  10. Stigma in the System
  11. Defining Adequate
  12. My Voice is Power
  13. RentSafe Roundtable presentations
    November 23, 2016
  14. RentSafe whiteboard video “Home”
  15. RentSafe Roundtable Discussion Paper: What we have learned so far about the experiences of and responses to unhealthy housing conditions
    November 2016
  16. RentSafe Advisory Committee
    May 2016
    Background information
  17. RentSafe Update (April 2016)
    April 2016
  18. RentSafe Panel Session at The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC)
    April 5, 2016
  19. RentSafe Legal Aid Survey – Summary Report
    February 2016
  20. RentSafe Public Health Unit Survey: Summary Report
    November 2015
  21. RentSafe Background Paper on Housing-related Health Risks
    October 2015
  22. RentSafe Project Overview
    January 2015
  23. Home Safety for your KIDS’ sake mini-poster
    February 12, 2014
  24. Creating Healthy Environments for Kids
    June 2011
  25. Healthy Retrofits: The Case for Better Integration of Children’s Environmental Health Protection into Energy Efficiency Programs
    March 2011

The following FAQs address some of the housing-related health risks that are the focus of the RentSafe initiative:

Should I be testing for radon levels in my home?

I want to put new insulation in my attic. I think there might be asbestos in the old insulation that is there. What should I do?

What are the safest products to use when I am repairing or renovating my home?

We found mould during our renovations. What should we do?

I live in a house that I think was built in the 1930s or 1940s. How can I find out if there is lead in the paint?

We conducted a radon test and found that the apartment we are renting has a high radon level. What can we do?

Nous avons effectué un test de radon montrant que l’appartement que nous louons renferme une forte concentration de radon. Que pouvons-nous faire?

If I find that my home has high levels of radon, how much will it cost to fix it?

What toxic chemicals are found in household dust?