Healthy Homes - Partners
Tennessee has several partner agencies working together to maintain the homes where people live. All of these partners support healthy living conditions and may have policies, programs or resources to help.
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) protects, promotes, and improves the health and prosperity of all people in Tennessee. There is a local health department in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Most of our county health departments do not have staff trained to answer Healthy Homes questions. TDH only inspects public places such as restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and tattoo parlors. Under normal circumstances we do not inspect residential homes whether the home is owned or rented. Healthy Homes can reduce asthma attacks, prevent injuries and improve mental health. The Environmental Epidemiology Program maintains our Healthy Homes Website as a resource to help people maintain their home to support their family’s health. People can call 615-741-7247 for more information, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We hope that you find this website helpful and appreciate your feedback to help us make it better.
Some local governments have health, housing or codes departments that provide Healthy Homes assistance. Each local government is different. You will need to contact your city or county to find out what housing resources are available. Some local governments may provide general assistance, some only require the outsides of properties to be maintained, several may refer you back to this website, and only a few may be able to visit your home. Housing assistance may not be widely available, especially in rural areas. Here are some local government programs:
Housing and Development Agency (THDA)
The Tennessee Housing and Development Agency is Tennessee's housing finance agency. THDA was created to promote more affordable housing units for low and moderate income individuals and families. THDA administers numerous federal and state housing programs. THDA believes that housing is a basic human need and has profound impacts, both social and economic, on individuals and communities. THDA agrees with the research that safe, sound, affordable housing is essential to healthy households and neighborhoods. THDA has programs for homeowners about home repairs and foreclosure prevention. THDA oversees the rental assistance Housing Choice Voucher Program which helps very-low income individuals, families, the elderly and the disabled. THDA has a Section 8 Contract Administration Resident Issues hotline at 800-314-9320, available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for those people with housing voucher health and safety concerns.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance's Division of Consumer Affairs enforces the state Consumer Protection Act while educating consumers on the latest scams and threats that could cause harm. Consumer Affairs assists with the Tennessee Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, Title 66, Chapter 28. The Act established rights and obligations of landlords and tenants. The Act only applies to residential rental agreements in counties with a population of more than 75,000 people. Consumer Affairs hotline number is 615-741-4737 and does accept online complaints.
Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) protects human health and the environment, conserves natural resources, manages state parks and enhances the quality of life. TDEC protects Tennessee’s air, land and water through a responsible regulatory system. TDEC is committed to providing a cleaner, safer environment that goes hand-in-hand with economic prosperity and increased quality of life. TDEC's Division of Air Pollution Control answers questions about indoor air quality, open burning, and asbestos renovation projects. TDEC's Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices operates Tennessee's statewide Radon Program that may be able to provide a free home radon test kit.
Aging and Disability (TCAD)
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) is the designated state agency on aging and is mandated to provide leadership relative to aging issues on behalf of older persons in the state. Their mission is to bring together and leverage programs, resources, and organizations to protect and ensure the quality of life and independence of older Tennesseans and adults with disabilities. The Commission has programs on caregiver support, long-term care, nutrition, public guardianship and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Other topics important to the Commission are Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, community gardens, elder abuse, fall prevention and volunteer opportunities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the federal government agency which works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats. CDC supports healthy homes which are sited, designed, built, renovated and maintained to support health. CDC's Healthy Homes approach is a coordinated, comprehensive and holistic approach to preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards and deficiencies.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal government agency responsible for protecting all Americans from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work. EPA ensures all parts of society -- communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments -- have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) believes homes should be affordable and healthy. HUD promotes safe, decent and sanitary housing as a means of preventing disease and injury. According to HUD, there is a lot of emerging scientific evidence linking health outcomes such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries to substandard housing. And, there are more than 6 million substandard housing units nationwide.
Legal Aid Societies
Legal Aid Societies provide legal help to people with low income. Legal Aid is good source of information about housing fairness and renter's rights. Here are some groups that may have helpful legal advice or resources.
Other Housing Programs:
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
UT Family and Consumer Sciences