KEARNS, Utah, Dec. 11, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — The latest in a series of remodeled homes that offer lead-safe housing was unveiled in Kearns Thursday.
Salt Lake County said in a press release the Idea House program is a collaborative effort that takes an existing home with outdated features and renovates it to reduce energy costs while improving safety and efficiency. The program also aims to renovate lead hazards in homes built before 1978, where children under the age of six reside or visit frequently.
The most recent Idea House in Kearns, at 4351 West 5740 South, was unveiled at a public open house. This is the 33rd idea house that Community Development Corporation of Utah (CDCU) and Salt Lake County’s Housing Programs, including Lead Safe, GHHU and Down Payment Assistance has renovated. The house was acquired by CDCU early in 2015 through the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) Program which seeks to stabilize targeted neighborhoods by rehabilitating foreclosed, abandoned or distressed properties.
Prior to renovation, this house tested positive for methamphetamine contamination and lead paint hazards, which were addressed during rehabilitation.
Once an idea house is done, the home is sold to a low-income family in need of a safe place to live.
“The Kearns Idea House is a model for how government, nonprofit, and neighborhood partners can work together to provide the tools and leadership for communities to realize energy efficient savings and help revitalize their neighborhoods,” said Salt Lake County regional development director Carlton Christensen.
“CDCU is proud of our Idea House program with the generous support of Salt Lake County. It is so exciting to see how refurbishing a home can create success throughout the surrounding neighborhood. This program empowers both the purchaser of the home and the entire community to feel pride of where they live,” said Diane Hartz Warsoff, CEO of CDCU.
Salt Lake County administers grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to qualifying homeowners, renters, and landlords to make homes lead safe for children. All services are free.
Annie Dayton, Lead Safe outreach coordinator, said: “We take an older home that’s been vacant and had a lot of problems and we renovate it and make it safe and sell it back to the public. Our priority is public safety, public health and economic development.”
The Salt Lake County Health Department recommends all children under the age of six be tested for lead exposure. The Salt Lake Lead Safe Housing Program provides testing for children under the age of six who live in qualifying properties.