Healthy Homes Interdepartmental Initiative Legislation Introduced

Thursday, August 22, 2019

CLEVELAND – Legislation was yesterday introduced for the Community Engagement Healthy Homes Interdepartmental Initiative (HHII), a City of Cleveland-funded effort to improve the quality of life of Cleveland residents through enhancements to the city’s housing stock. Through the HHII, the City will deploy Community Engagement Specialists across Cleveland neighborhoods through Community Development Corporations (CDC) to connect residents and landlords to healthy housing resources, education and training.

“The goal of the program is to ensure that our residents are aware of services that will improve their daily lives and at the same time protect their investment in their homes,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “We expect that these specialists will be able to assist residents in leveraging City of Cleveland services as well as those of our community partners in neighborhoods around the city.”

Community Engagement Specialists

To effectively identify areas of need within neighborhoods, Community Engagement Specialists will be housed in Cleveland CDCs and will work closely with CDC staff to build trust with landlords and residents. Specialists will provide landlords and residents with:

  • Technical support
  • Identifying important internal and external resources – from programs for seniors to resources for families
  • Conduct quarterly forums and classes for homeowners and landlords

“By housing the specialists in CDCs, we will embed them in the community and allow the specialists to most effectively engage with residents where they feel comfortable – in their homes, schools, churches and recreation centers,” said Community Development Director Tania Menesse. Community Engagement Specialists will routinely convene as a cohort to undergo training including community outreach, conducting interior and exterior inspections, data collection and reporting. Specialists’ efforts and success will be monitored by the manager of the Community Engagement Specialists who will serve as the primary liaison between CDCs and the City of Cleveland.

Paint Program to Launch in October

As part of the HHII, specialists will also administer the City’s Paint Program which provides grants up to $1,500 for reimbursement of exterior paint and paint supplies for owner occupants and up to $750 for tenants to help maintain the home exterior and aid in reducing lead-based paint hazards. Specialists will also undergo Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting training to help residents and landlords prepare for lead clearance/risk assessor inspections, which are a condition of the program.

The paint program is expected to launch in October. Applications will be submitted directly to the city.

About the City of Cleveland

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at