Healthy Housing Chicago
Social Services Partnership
The Loretto Hospital have partnered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH), a nonprofit law firm and community-based housing organization that integrates legal representation and advocacy into a patient’s medical treatment program, to form a Medical-Legal Partnership (“MLP”) called Healthy Housing Chicago.
The goal of Healthy Housing Chicago is to address and resolve health-harming living/housing conditions and challenges that are impacting The Loretto HospitaL patients. Such conditions include, but are not limited to: bed bugs, mold, lead paint, and utility shut off.
Although the City of Chicago has established building ordinances to penalize landlords who fail to provide safe and nonhazardous living conditions for tenants, there still exists buildings that cause a number of health issues for tenants living in them. The alliance with LCBH will extend free legal and support services to Loretto patients whose medical condition may be the result of renting an unhealthy apartment or home that is contributing to the patient’s health issues.
According to a recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollutants can cause a host of acute illnesses and/or minor health symptoms that can mimic the common flu or allergies, and are sometimes categorized as sick building syndrome. Indoor pollutants such as: mold; lead-based paint; pest infestations; the presence of asbestos in insulation; glue in carpet or ceiling and floor molding; lead in plumbing fixtures and formaldehyde in paneling or cabinets, are some of the hazards that can be linked to rhinitis, nasal congestion, recurring asthma symptoms, cough, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, fever and even severe lung disease.
There are approximately 20 hospitals or healthcare organizations in Illinois that participate in the free medical-legal partnership program. In addition to receiving free legal services, The Loretto Hospital patients will have full access to all of LCBH’s programs and services which include: Eviction Defense Program, legal representation to renters facing eviction, including many elderly, disabled, or single mothers; Affordable Housing Preservation Program (AHPP), for individuals living in buildings with building code violations; the Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP), provides pre-eviction assistance to renters whose utilities have been illegally shut off, have been locked out of their homes by the landlord, or experienced other serious life-threatening issues; the Tenants in Foreclosure Intervention Project (TFIP); and the Fair Housing Project (FH) of LCBH.
For more information about The Loretto Hospital, its medical services and its new patient legal services, contact Tanesha Daniels, Chief Experience Officer, at (773) 854-5095.