HUD grant will address environmental and safety hazards in low-income Black Belt homes


CONTACT: Steven McDaniel, (334) 206-5752, ADPH, or Michael Rasbury, (205) 348-3967, UA SafeState

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Bureau of Environmental Services, Indoor Air Quality and Lead Branch, and the University of Alabama were recently awarded a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Healthy Homes Production Grant to remove environmental and safety hazards from some of Alabama’s vulnerable and underserved communities. The University of Alabama SafeState Program and the Alabama Life Research Institute will help manage the $2 million grant award and remediation activities.

Alabama joins 29 states as a grant recipient in the share of $104.7 million in Healthy Homes Production Grant Program funds awarded by HUD.

The Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities in the Black Belt Region of Alabama program will target approximately 150 low-income homes in counties that make up a portion of the Black Belt region of the state. During the 42-month grant period, the program will identify and provide solutions for environmental hazards like indoor air quality, mold and moisture, pests, carbon monoxide, lead-based paint, asbestos and radon, as well as general safety hazards like indoor and outdoor structural issues.

Qualifying families will receive a no-cost assessment where Healthy Homes inspectors from the UA SafeState program will evaluate potential hazards and coordinate the improvement of the home, prioritizing environmental and safety hazards.

The ADPH and the University of Alabama are establishing the application process for qualifying families.

“This program not only allows us to identify health and safety issues in these underserved communities, but it also gives us the resources to solve some of the problems. Qualifying participants can receive up to $10,000 for repairs designed to reduce or eliminate identified hazards,” Michael Rasbury, Director, UA SafeState Environmental Programs, said.

A kickoff event in Tuscaloosa is being planned for March 23, at the University of Alabama where stakeholders as well as state and local leaders will learn more about the Healthy Homes Production Grant program and how their communities can benefit. Public events will be scheduled and take place throughout the affected counties to reach qualifying families and bring awareness to the program.

ADPH and the University of Alabama’s goals and objectives for all applicants receiving a Healthy Homes Production Award will be to:

  • Maximize both the number of vulnerable residents protected from housing-related environmental health and safety hazards and the number of housing units where these hazards are controlled.
  • Identify and remediate housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned, low-income rental and/or owner-occupied housing, especially in units and/or buildings where families with children, older adults 62 years and older, or families with persons with disabilities reside.
  • Promote cost-effective and efficient healthy home methods and approaches that can be replicated and sustained.
  • Build and enhance partner resources to develop the most cost-effective methods for identifying and controlling key housing-related environmental health and safety hazards.
  • Promote collaboration, data sharing and targeting between health and housing departments.
  • Ensure to the greatest extent feasible that job training, employment, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by this grant will be directed to low- and very-low-income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons in the area in which the project is located.

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County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.