Rebuilding Together and Wells Fargo Volunteers Fix Health and Safety Hazards in Low-Income Homes in Nine Communities
Washington, DC (October 1, 2013) – Today, NCHH, Rebuilding Together, and teams of Wells Fargo volunteers kick off the Healthy Housing Challenge. The project will make critical home repairs for low-income families, seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities living in homes with health and safety threats, starts in nine cities.
The Healthy Housing Challenge is a joint project of NCHH, a national research and advocacy organization, and Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leader in volunteer home repairs. The Challenge provides training, funding, and technical support to help local Rebuilding Together affiliates make repairs in communities across the United States.
“Although older, low-income homes typically pose greater risks, our research shows that millions of American homes have hazards that can harm occupants’ health,” said Rebecca Morley, executive director of NCHH. “The good news is that relatively simple repairs can correct many problems.”
Yesterday NCHH released the newest results of The State of Healthy Housing, a comprehensive study of housing conditions in 46 metropolitan areas of the nation. The study reveals that 35 million U.S. homes—or 40 percent—have one or more health and safety hazards.
“The Healthy Housing Challenge enhances Rebuilding Together’s affiliates’ ability to look for health and safety hazards and to make the critical modifications necessary to repair these homes,” said Charley Shimanski, Rebuilding Together’s president and CEO. “Our vision is a safe and healthy home for every person.”
The Rebuilding Together affiliates that are leading the Healthy Housing Challenge will be completing the projects with teams of Wells Fargo volunteers in the following communities:
Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church, VA – October 5
Pittsburgh, PA – October 10
Raleigh, NC – October 12
Philadelphia, PA – October 12
Baltimore, MD – October 17
Healthy Housing Challenge repairs have already commenced in several cities, including: Omaha, NE, Denver, CO, Redwood City and Sacramento, CA.
“Wells Fargo is excited to support this effort that provides important home repairs and education to people who need them,” said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations & CRA Risk Management at Wells Fargo. “It’s important for homeowners to understand how homes affect our health, and the basic steps for preventing health and safety dangers. Wells Fargo volunteer teams are coming together to help Rebuilding Together complete repairs in all of these communities, and many more to come.”
Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) helped launch the Challenge with an $850,000 commitment over three years from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Freddie Mac recently joined in sponsoring the Challenge with $250,000 in matching funds. NCHH and Rebuilding Together are inviting other national corporations and foundations to sponsor the Challenge and provide leadership in making Americans’ homes healthier and safer. Later this year, 13 additional communities will be selected to participate in the Healthy Housing Challenge.
This short video highlights 10 repairs Rebuilding Together volunteers completed to make one older home safe and healthy.
NCHH provides homeowners with tips for preventing dangers in the home. For example:
Check your clothes dryer duct for lint clogs and make sure it vents outside
Ensure gutters and downspouts are working and direct water away from the home
Slope your yard away from the house so water does not puddle at the foundation
Set your water heater temperature to 120 F or less to avoid scalds and save energy
Repair cracks and holes in the foundation and walls to keep out pests
View NCHH’s Seasonal Healthy Homes Maintenance Checklist.
Join us for the Healthy Housing Challenge.