© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Federal money will help support housing in New Haven. But the goal is to reduce childhood asthma

Asthma inhaler
Ben Dalton

New Haven officials joined with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal to announce a federal grant that will support housing that could help reduce health risks in children.

Nearly 15% of the city’s young people have asthma or other respiratory conditions. Most of the children are from low-income communities and communities of color.

Blumenthal said the $2 million federal fund supports New Haven’s Healthy Homes program, which helps prevent children from becoming sick and missing time from school.

“It is a way to minimize costs going forward because it prevents emergency rooms, visits and ultimately nothing is more important than the quality of life, particularly for our children,” Blumenthal said.

The program addresses several other environmental health and safety concerns, such as mold and radon.

Data shows that in New Haven, asthma was the leading health cause of absenteeism in 2018. Over the past five years, more than 1,000 children under the age of 18 sought hospital treatment for the respiratory illness, city health officials said.

Mayor Justin Elicker said the funds will help change that.

“This will empower our team with this $2 million over the next two years, to significantly improve the safety for not just young people, but other community members living in New Haven,” he said.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.