EveryStep today announced it has been awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make hundreds of central Iowa families’ homes safer. The grant money will help identify and address health hazards or asthma triggers in the homes of low-income families with children, and safety risks for senior Iowans who are living at home, known as “aging in place.”
“This grant will truly enable a ‘boots on the ground’ effort,” said EveryStep president and CEO Tray Wade. “From mold remediation, and bathroom and dryer venting to remove childhood asthma triggers, to installing handrails and grab bars to improve safety for seniors, this funding will be used almost entirely to directly assist individuals and families in making their homes safer from health hazards.”
Through several unique partnerships and financial commitments, another $1.5 million will be added to the $2 million federal grant, for a total of $3.5 million available through EveryStep’s Healthy Homes Iowa program.
Key partners in securing the federal grant include Polk County Housing Trust Fund, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Polk County Health Department, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Polk County Public Works, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, Broadlawns hospital, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative and F&G. These and other partners will also help identify individuals and families in need of assistance.
“The Polk County Housing Trust Fund was proud to help catalyze the initial Healthy Homes effort in our community back in 2015,” said Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. “We believe firmly that safety and stability in housing are key social determinants of health. We excited that our community is continuing this work to make sure everyone has a place to live and thrive.”
Because of EveryStep’s existing programs and established partnerships, it is expected identified families and individuals will begin receiving assistance by mid-year.
The Healthy Homes program initially focused on working with families to identify and reduce triggers related to pediatric asthma. To learn about the history of the Healthy Homes initiative and its past and present partners, visit https://www.everystep.org/provider-resources/healthy-homes. This article is edited from a press release by EveryStep released January 21.