First State & HUD Making Homes Safe, People Happy

First State Community Action Agency and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid Atlantic Region working together to create healthy, safer homes through the Delaware DeLead Program and Healthy Homes initiative. On October 11, representatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid Atlantic Region made a house visit to the home of Anita Bermundez, a client of First State’s De-Lead program, who lives with her 5-year old grandson in the once lead-infested home.

HUD Administrators were welcomed with open arms and got the chance to see first-hand the finished work performed to make Ms. Bermundez’s lead-free and safe. During the visit, De-Lead Crew chief, Scott Smith, detailed the work done to the home which included interim control and replacement of lead-scourged windows, shelves and ceilings, and the addition of hand rails and new flooring through the Healthy Homes Initiative. The costs of these home repairs, modifications, and lead/hazard removal totaled more than $18,358.83; a hefty expense covered through grant funding provided by HUD.

When asked her thoughts about the work First State performed in her home, Ms. Bermundez said, “I don’t know what I would’ve did without them….they were very professional, on-time, and more than kind….They really helped us out.”

She added, “People should really take advantage [of this service]…. Make a safe home, a healthy home. That’s the most important thing.”

The Delaware De-Lead Program is a service that prevents lead poisoning in children by identifying and removing lead hazards in the home. The Healthy Homes Initiative is an additional service which targets 29 unsafe hazards in the home and removes them through necessary home repairs, modifications, and treatment/controls. The Delaware De-Lead Program & Healthy Homes Initiative are administered in Kent and Sussex Counties by First State Community Action Agency, Inc. and supported by a grant funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Program officially ends November 2017.

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