A working mother and her asthmatic son have become the poster family for the benefits of transforming moldy, poorly insulated housing into energy efficient, healthy homes.

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Vice President Joe Biden has cited the Baltimore family — Lekquan Young and her 8-year-old son, DeWayne — as beneficiaries of a new public-private movement to tackle home environmental problems, such as allergens, in one fell swoop instead of working on them one at a time.

About a dozen cities, in addition to Baltimore, already have begun Green Healthy Home Initiatives. St. Louis hopes to join them, seeing this movement as a way to have city agencies work together and tackle lots of home health problems more effectively and perhaps more cheaply.