‘Healthy Homes’ works to rehabilitate homes in West Alabama

WEST ALABAMA (WCBI) – Pickens and Lamar counties are located in what’s known as the “Black Belt” of Alabama. Many of the homes in this area are beginning to show their age.

Kimberly Montgomery is the Healthy Homes Support Specialist with the Community Service Programs of West Alabama.

“Just in general west Alabama does have an aging housing stock,” Montgomery said. “I have dealt with homes that were as much as 124 years old, then I’ve dealt with some that are 30 or 35 years old. Homes built before 1978 have a higher risk for lead exposure.”

Healthy Homes is a Hud-funded program that promotes childhood wellness and safety by addressing 29 hazards commonly found in these homes.

With a budget of $1.8 million, the goal is to serve around 100 families.

“We hope to serve the neediest families that are low income, that have children in the home under six, or who frequently visit,” Montgomery. “When we address these hazards, a child is in a home where they’re able to thrive and meet their developmental Milestones.”

Patti Fuller is the County commissioner for District 4 of Pickens County. She said this is a great opportunity for those in Pickens County and the Black Belt to apply for the program.

“There are a lot of older homes around here, a lot of children live in these older homes, we know older homes are notorious for having lead-based paint, sometimes there are leaking roofs, windows that leak, sometimes there are just problems with mold getting in, mildew gets in, and sometimes those problems can be really serious for young children,” Fuller said. “So, we’re hoping with this grant opportunity, people will be able to apply, get their homes fixed, and our children live happier, healthier lives.”

To apply for the Healthy Homes project, you can fill out an application online, send one in, or drop it off at the office. For more information, visit www.cspwal.com or call 205-469-0397.

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