Community involvement, though time and resource intensive, is a necessary and useful component of housing health hazard research with the potential to enhance trust and increase the relevance of research to affected communities. Thus, attention to the issues raised by the community and consideration of the most appropriate method of community involvement for a given research project is warranted. As funders and researchers devote more attention to community involvement, the mechanisms and effective approaches to community involvement will become further refined.
Recommendation 5.1: Researchers carrying out research on housing health hazards involving children should describe in their protocols and IRB submissions how they have involved and will continue to involve the affected community in the research project, justify the lack of such involvement, and report how they have responded to any community concerns.
Recommendation 5.2: Institutional review boards should require appropriate community involvement in housing health hazards research involving children and require that investigators’ protocols are responsive to any community concerns.
Recommendation 5.3: Federal agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), private foundations, and other funders of research on housing health hazards involving children should require researchers to have appropriate community involvement in the research. Funders should provide adequate funding to involve affected communities and should sponsor research to evaluate the outcomes of community involvement.