San Francisco Flooring Policy for Public Housing

Authors: San Francisco Department of Public Health

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Completion Date:

HIA Report: Project Summary

Summary of the HIA

Proposed Policy or Project

Policy of San Francisco Housing Authority on flooring options in public housing developments.

Background and Policy Context

Policy related to flooring options in public housing developments affects the occupants of 6114 public housing units in San Francisco, specifically asthma sufferers. The HIA was conducted to assess the health disparities related to area of residence and substandard housing with deferred maintenance. The link between carpeting and reduced ambient noise and increased asthma attacks was developed.

Scope and Methods

A structured multi-day dialogue was held among experts, residents, asthma-prevention advocates, and responsible agency representatives on the flooring options. A review of evidence on asthma triggers was also conducted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Summary of Findings

Recommended pro-portion of new units built without carpeting and for the housing authority to increase awareness of policy for requesting removal of existing carpeting.

Decisions/Actions following the release of the HIA

As a result of the impact assessment process, a portion of the new units in each HOPE VI (public housing) complex will be without carpeting. Education will also be a component because the San Francisco Housing Authority will increase staff's and tenant's awareness of proper methods to remove carpeting in existing units.

Products Produced


Background Reports


Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH

1390 Market Street, Ste. 822
San Francisco

(415) 252-3982