Salt Lake County joins national initiative to make homes safe, healthy

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28 2012 3:00 p.m. MST

"We are excited to bring this program to Salt Lake County and believe it will help improve housing and health for those who are most in need," said Randy Jepperson, manager of the Salt Lake County Housing Program, who will lead the implementation of the plan locally.

To qualify, participants have to make 80 percent or less of the county median income, Jepperson said.

The compact also was signed by representatives from the Salt Lake County Housing Program, University of Utah Department of Pediatrics, Utah Department of Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, Neighborworks Salt Lake, Valley Services and the Community Development Corp. of Utah.

Nationally, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative is led by the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Council on Foundations.

HUD officials estimate that by making homes healthy, safe and energy efficient, the initiative's first 3,500 units would save more than $325 million in energy and health care costs, and improve the quality of life for children and families.

To date, work at sites currently participating in the initiative has achieved up to 25 percent savings in home repair costs, annual energy cost reductions of $450 per household, and a significant reduction in children's hospital visits due to asthma, as well as improved school attendance and academic performance, Norton said.

For more information about Salt Lake County's involvement int the program, visit greenandhealthyhomessaltlake.org.

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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