By: Marcus Smith
Safe, stable and affordable housing is critical to the health and well-being of children and their families. Homeowners we work with through Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program are in great need and lack the financial means to keep their homes in good condition. Their homes have fallen into disrepair, and are too often unhealthy and unsafe.
That was the case with Stephanie, who has owned her home in Hartford since 2004. She lives there with her oldest daughter and three grandchildren.
Her home needed lead remediation on contaminated windows and doors, a new roof, landscaping work, and much more.
Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Programs Celebrates 15 Years. Read more here.
Stephanie knew her home needed repairs, but didn’t quite realize the extent of the problems until the premiums for her homeowner’s insurance nearly doubled. In shopping around for different companies, she found one that offered an affordable rate, but stated she could only qualify for such a rate if a long list of repairs took place.
Unsure of how to proceed, Stephanie contacted Rebuilding Together Hartford, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing volunteers and communities together to help low-income homeowners repair and renovate their homes. With the project too large for it to take on alone, the organization connected her with Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program and the City of Hartford’s Community Development Block Grant Program. After applying for assistance, she was thrilled to learn that Healthy Homes and the City of Hartford would be able to help. Rebuilding Together Hartford also lined up more than 50 volunteers to help out on the project. The work began in May and lasted much of the summer.
“It’s been hard trying to bring my home up to date,” stated Stephanie. “I’m so thankful to the different programs for coming together to bring it up to date.”
Testing showed elevated lead levels in and around the doors and windows in Stephanie’s home, so Healthy Homes contractors worked to replace all of the windows, frames, and doors in the home. Healthy Homes also provided pest control services at the home.
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Through the block grant funding, the City of Hartford replaced the roof and gutters; added a bedroom addition and storage on the second floor; upgraded the electrical system; paved the driveway; upgraded the kitchen; and installed new appliances.
“I’m so thankful for Healthy Homes and all that they did to help me get relieved of all of that lead in the home,” said Stephanie. “I’m so thankful for everybody coming together. It looks like a completely different house. I just thank God every day.”
Healthy Homes is thrilled to partner with other organizations that have similar missions to ensure the health and safety of homes around Connecticut. This project is one of the many success stories we have been part of throughout our 15-year history. We look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Connecticut in the years to come.
Marcus Smith is the senior manager of Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program, which is a program of Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health.
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