City promotes resources to protect residents from home hazards

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As part of a national lead poisoning prevention effort, Mayor Andrew Ginther, columbus city councilmember Shayla Favor and other city and community leaders gathered recently to promote several home repair and lead remediation resources available to Columbus residents. All of the programs are designed to protect vulnerable residents from housing-related hazards while preserving housing affordability in Columbus.

“The benefits of a safe and healthy home cannot be overstated,” said Ginther. “Our Housing Strategy makes clear our commitment to protecting our most vulnerable neighbors by offering a range of resources to keep them in their homes as our regional population grows and the housing market tightens. That is why these programs are so important and why we are doing all we can to empower more of our residents to remain stably housed while reducing the cost of homeownership.”

Specifically, the Lead Safe Columbus Program provides funding to property owners for lead-based paint hazard control in owner- or tenant-occupied units. To date, this program has addressed health hazards in more than 200 Columbus homes and completed more than $460,000 in repairs.

The Healthy Homes Program, meanwhile, offers families up to $7,500 to fix health and safety concerns in households in which children under the age of 6, seniors and/or people with disabilities reside. Estimates project this program will serve more than 250 properties over the next three years and educate 8,000 residents on ways to keep their homes safe.

Additionally, the Columbus Emergency Repair Program offers homeowners up to $7,500 for essential repairs to abate certain emergency conditions. Eligible repairs include leaking, obstructed or clogged toilets, sinks, tubs and sewer lines; loss of heat; leaking or inoperable hot water tanks; loss of electricity; and more. Contractors who meet local, state and federal requirements are assigned to perform the work. To qualify, homeowners must have owned and occupied the residence for at least one year, and household earnings must be 50 percent or less of the Area Median Income.

“Housing-related environmental problems are a significant cause of adult and pediatric health conditions, from asthma to lead poisoning. But it goes beyond just health outcomes. Homeownership is the greatest key to wealth building in the United States. If we can support residents to secure safe and healthy homes, we can positively impact families for generations to come,” said Favor. “This is why this rollout and investing in the education, restoration and repairing of homes is so important. We must prioritize the investment of this work to continue improving the quality of life for our residents.”

Applications are currently being accepted for all three programs. For more information, visit columbus.gov.

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