HUD No. 01-27-2011
Joseph J. Phillips
January 27, 2011
CITY OF ATLANTA AND THE CENTER FOR WORKING FAMILIES, INC., RECEIVE $2.9 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO CREATE GREENER, HEALTHIER AND SAFER HOMES FOR CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND THE ELDERLY
ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced two grants totaling $2.9 million that will allow the City of Atlanta and The Center for Working Families, Inc. (TCWFI) to make hundreds of Atlanta's older homes healthier, safer and more energy-efficient. HUD also announced a $2.1 million grant to the State of Georgia to support lead abatement work in Savannah. (See full description of the grants below.)
The new HUD funding for the City of Atlanta will support the city's Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, a partnership between area foundations, government agencies and nonprofits to share resources and more efficiently rehabilitate homes.
GHHI Atlanta is helping the city and its community partners create an integrated, cost-effective approach for fixing older homes by doing weatherization, energy-efficiency improvements, lead-hazard reduction, and interventions to address asthma triggers, safety hazards and other unsafe conditions.
The new funding will allow the City, working with TCWFI and other partners to have its first Healthy Homes Intervention Program. It will provide free intervention services to reduce asthma triggers and safety hazards to children in low-income households.
"These HUD grant awards to the City of Atlanta and State of Georgia make it clear that healthy homes for families and children are a priority. We congratulate the City and State for supporting this extremely essential effort as we are committed to protecting children and families from these hazards," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr.
Over three years, the Atlanta grants will allow more than 300 green and healthy units to be made more energy-efficient, and have environmental and safety hazards addressed. The grant programs will also result in training and green jobs for residents of low-income communities.
"The grants we're awarding today will literally save the lives of hundreds of Atlanta children," said Jon Gant, Director of HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. "With this lead grant, the first ever awarded to Atlanta, HUD is committing to make homes healthy and safe for Atlanta's families and their children. Today, we take a step closer to making childhood lead poisoning a thing of the past."
The City of Atlanta applauded HUD for expanding the reach of its national Healthy Homes initiative. "My goal is for the City of Atlanta to be a leader in ending childhood lead poisoning," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "As we launch our first lead hazard control program, we appreciate the support of HUD, the State of Georgia and our many local partners who are committed to keeping our city's children and families healthy and safe."
David A. Jackson, President and CEO of TCWFI, said the HUD grants are meeting a major need. "Far too many vulnerable Atlanta families now live in older homes that are needlessly expensive to heat and cool, and that actually pose hazards to the people who live there, particularly children," Jackson said. "The HUD grants will allow The Center for Working Families, Inc., the City of Atlanta and our partners to work in a far more efficient manner to help these families be able to live in homes that are safer, healthier and more energy-efficient so they can close the gap between what they earn and what they need to live."
The City of Atlanta is one of 13 cities and 2 Indian tribes selected as initial project sites for the national Green Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI). Established in late 2008, this initiative brings together major national foundations and local foundations, HUD and other federal agencies, and nonprofits, that have coalesced around the drive to rehabilitate the nation's older homes in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Public and private sector investments are allowing GHHI to create sustainable green, healthy and safe housing in low-income neighborhoods. GHHI is led by the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (http://www.leadsafe.org/).
"These awards represent a significant investment in GHHI's work in Atlanta to increase access to community-based green jobs, implement health-based housing standards, reduce barriers to efficient implementation and improve outcomes for children and communities of greatest need," said Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of GHHI.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.