|Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z|
Dreams Really Do Come True
In 2005, staff of the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG) received a request for their Rehab Program to assist a couple with the rehabilitation of their home. The home was in deplorable condition, very small, built in the 1940's and was probably an old mining camp house. The windows leaked, the furnace was inefficient and the heating costs in the winter were almost $200 per month. Unfortunately, the Rehab Program is only available for homeowners, not renters. The tenants were both in wheel chairs, and living solely on social security disability payments.
The SELAUG staff decided to attack the problem from a different angle. Instead of: "Sorry, you don't meet our program guidelines - the staff decided to adopt a can do attitude - "where there is a will, there is a way!"
SELAUG met with Utah Correctional Industries (UCI), 'Point of the Mountain'. UCI provides a skills training program for inmates aimed at reducing the likelihood of prisoners returning to criminal life. One segment of the UCI operation is building modular homes. If UCI could build a home, designed specifically for two individuals in wheel chairs, and if the cost could be kept low enough, and if the home could be energy efficient, then homeownership could become a reality for the couple
SEUALG used HUD's HOME program funds for the closing costs; USDA Rural Development approved a 'First Time Homebuyers' loan for the house, and the Energy Star Partnerships provided a grant to construct the home to energy star guidelines. UCI designed and built the home, and Community Development Block Grant funding provided monies to assist with the down payment. Active Re-entry worked to provide a special lift system to assist with the clients unique needs, and a title company reduced its fees. Several local businesses donated to the project, (excavation and floor coverings) and the Price City Council paid the necessary fees (building permit and connection fees) from a special re-development fund.
The home was designed and built utilizing Universal Building Concepts. Design included no steps into or within the home, 36" wide doorways, minimal hallways, and a bathroom large enough to fit a wheel chair and lift system for the roll-in shower and lavatory access. Throughout the house, pocket doors are used, and the carport is designed big enough for a wheel chair lift on their vehicle. Sensors on exterior entry doors turn on lights automatically when doors are opened, and interior lights are motion activated.
The home was built with energy saving features, set-back thermostat, 90+% efficient furnace, 95% efficient direct vent water heater, low E glass windows, Seer13 air conditioner, additional insulation and Energy Star rated appliances.
Upon moving into their new home the couple thanked all who participated. Affordable housing can be achieved when agencies work together to transform the lives of citizens using government resources. The entire project took close to 10 months to complete but the end result was well worth the effort. The Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments was the lead agency and project manager.
Learn more about the resources used for this project.
Content Archived: April 11, 2011