“Healthy Neighborhoods” Grant Focuses On Helping Residents Living In Older Rome Area Housing

Picente: “We’ll Address Health Issues Associated with Some Aged Housing Stock”

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced a grant of more than a million dollars being awarded to the Oneida County Health Department for the purposes of improving environmental health surveillance in neighborhoods of Rome and adjoining towns having aged housing stock that creates conditions that lead to  health concerns among the occupants.

“We continue to address health issues among low-income, often minority families and senior populations residing in aged housing stock.” Picente said.  He added, “Through an aggressive plan of outreach and sustained partnerships, the health department will work with tenants, landlords and residents to improve environmental health in neighborhoods.”      

According to Phyllis Ellis, Director of Health for Oneida County, the grant from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) totaling $263,582 each year over the next five years will be paid to the Oneida County Health Department who will work with community partners including the City of Rome municipal government, Mohawk Valley Community Action, Rome Hospital, the Women, Infants and Children’s Program (WIC) and other County offices involved in senior citizen housing.  Ellis said the next step in the process is to meet with these community partners in order to plan implementation of the program in affected areas.

“We are confident our combined efforts will produce measurable results through reductions in tobacco use, childhood lead poisoning, asthma hospitalizations and home fire deaths replicating the successes we’ve seen in the city of Utica,” Ellis said. 

Ellis said the goal of the health department is to canvass 800 apartments and mobile home units each year for the next five years bringing the total number of units served to 4,000.

“The cost breaks down to about $330 per visit; far less than one asthma-induced trip to the hospital,” Ellis said.