South Bend Launching Program to Help Make Homes Healthier
The City of South Bend has started the process of partnering with an organization that city officials hope will help make the best of state and federal funds to fix health hazards in homes.
The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, or GHHI, is a national organization that works with cities to bring together separate resources for home repairs and help homeowners have healthier homes.
Ruth Ann Norton is the President and CEO of GHHI. “There’s nothing beyond common sense about what we’re doing, nothing sexy about it. It’s just straight forward fix the things that make people sick that are in their home.”
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the goal is to best use the $2.3 million in Federal funding and nearly $600,000 in state dollars to do the most good.
“They’ve learned a lot of things about what works, what doesn’t work, what we should try to make sure we’re in touch with that expertise so that we can really use those dollars well. And the bottom line is to make sure that children grow up healthy in this community.”
The planning process with GHHI will take six months. Then homeowners will be able to work with GHHI and the city to get grants for work on their homes.
The grants will focus on lead abatement for lead poisoning in children, air quality for asthma, and other environmental health interventions.