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Salt Lake County receives $2 million grant to help families

Feb 23, 2022 08:00PM ● By Travis Barton

Funds from the county’s housing program will help residents fix different issues found in their homes, some for elderly to age in place rather than move. (File photo City Journals)

Salt Lake County’s Green & Healthy Homes Program is receiving a new $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The funds will allow the Salt Lake County program to help 130 additional families and individuals during the next three and half years. Salt Lake County was one of 60 agencies chosen nationally to receive funding to make low-income families’ homes safer and healthier.

“For people with asthma, residents aging in place and others, these funds make a difference in their lives,” Randy Jepperson, Salt Lake County Housing Program manager, said. “It’s not just fixing up the home, it’s making a difference in their daily lives.”

The Green & Healthy Homes Program focuses on creating housing that is both energy efficient and safe for low- to moderate-income families. The program targets several different issues that can be found in homes, including:

  • Radon gas safety
  • Presence of lead
  • Trip and fall hazards
  • Causes of asthma or any severe respiratory problems
  • Energy efficiency
  • Retrofits to keep the elderly in their homes, so they can age in place

For West Valley City resident Hector Carreon, having his home recently updated to increase safety and accessibility gives him long-term freedom. Carreon, who has muscular dystrophy, said he no longer feels like a prisoner in his own home.

“No matter how bad my disease will be, I’ll always be able to stay in my home,” Carreon said. “I won’t be homeless. I have freedom in my own home now and that’s how it’s supposed to be. The program made critical modifications.”

Residents can apply for assistance if they are 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below. For a family of four, the federal income guidelines currently set the AMI at $73,750 or less. The program is open to Salt Lake County homeowners, including refugees, regardless of legal status. Households are selected based on data and the greatest need for intervention.

“Salt Lake County cares deeply about our residents, especially those who need help the most,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said. “Our staff are committed to improving each individual’s life, one home at a time.”

For more information about the program and what makes a healthy home, visit Residents with program eligibility questions can contact Sara Hernandez at [email protected].