Sustainable Resources Center, Inc.
1081 Tenth Avenue S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414

612-870-4255 | fax 612-870-0729

   

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MDH HEALTHY HOMES STRATEGIC PLAN GRANT ANNOUNCEMENT

As of December of 2011, SRC has been awarded $70,000 for the period of December 5, 2011 to September 30, 2012 for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Healthy Homes Strategic Plan Grant! The HH Plan will rely on available data to identify and prioritize hazards, diseases, and conditions resulting from housing-related conditions, characterize high-risk populations, outline critical partners and resources needed for implementation, and establish evaluation measures to ensure efforts are meeting goals and objectives. There is also an opportunity to continue for an additional $70,000 for a second year.

MDH’s Healthy Homes Strategic Plan (HH Plan) Grant provides funding to:

  • Build a consortium of strategic partners to address unsafe and/or unhealthy housing conditions, including community health and housing leaders and community members; voluntary and professional organizations; and business, community, and faith-based leaders;
  • Prepare for and host a series of meetings with strategic partners from both urban and rural areas to prioritize housing-related hazards and review draft text;
  • Summarize background information and draft HH Plan text reflecting current knowledge of prioritized health concerns, consensus agreements of the strategic partners, and recommendations for program implementation and evaluation;
  • Address vulnerable populations, including low-income populations statewide, participants in public assistance programs, and populations of color;
  • Address housing-based health hazards, including lead poisoning, asthma, slips/trips/falls, fire prevention, lung cancer (radon), carbon monoxide poisoning, allergies, and home safety;
  • Identify measurable goals and objectives, and roles of staff and strategic partners;
  • Provide evaluation measures for both outputs and outcomes of the HH Plan.

MDH SWAB TEAM SERVICES GRANT ANNOUNCEMENT

As of October of 2011, SRC has been awarded $394,213 (82% of the available funds) from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for the current State Fiscal Year as part of the MDH Swab Team Services Grant!  If state funds remain available this award will be continued for the second year of the biennium as well.  These funds help to support all of our lead poisoning prevention and lead hazard control work, throughout Minnesota.

SRC will continue to provide the full range of eligible services, including:
  • Training to residents and property owners
  • Blood lead level screening
  • Outreach
  • Education
  • Swab services*, including interim controls when appropriate
  • On-the-job training for swab team workers

These services will be available statewide.  In addition to the services that are included in the Swab Team Services Grant, SRC will conduct lead hazard control work in residential properties, funded from other sources.  The creation of lead safe housing units is a key component of SRC’s lead poisoning prevention program.

*A “swab” is a whole house cleaning from top to bottom, which targets and eliminates hazardous lead dust generated from lead-based paint on windows, walls, and trim.

U.S. Grants Will Help Mpls, Henn. Co. Get Rid of Lead Pain

Article by: Star Tribune

Updated: September 26, 2011 - 8:45 PM

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/130604718.html

Having made progress against a public health menace, local officials landed $6.8 million infederal grants to remove toxic lead paint and other hazards from homes in Minneapolis and elsewhere in Hennepin County.The grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were announced Monday on the front lawn of Lynne Kelly's home on the 4200 block of Fremont Avenue N. To make her home safer, Kelly will have her lead-tainted windows and disintegrated front steps replaced under city and county programs.

"I appreciate it big time," said Kelly, mother of three children, ages 2, 11 and 16. "Otherwise it wouldn't be done."

Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman said that a city-county task force on childhood lead poisoning prevention had built "an incredibly successful partnership" to secure federal funding since 2002 that's seen a 67 percent reduction in children with high lead levels.

Still, Hennepin has between 800 and 1,200 children under the age of 6 with elevated lead levels, the highest in the state. Most children with higher lead levels live in Minneapolis.

"Lead poisoning can cause significant neurological, cognitive and other ... damage, particularly in young children, and may, at higher levels, cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death," the county said in a statement.

Hennepin County and Minneapolis, together, as well as the state of Connecticut, received the largest grants of this kind from HUD this year, in part because they requested the maximum, but also because they had other funding partners and a history of performance, said Michelle Miller, director of the programs division of the HUD office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.

The primary source of household lead is chipping or peeling paint. Homes built before 1978 may have used lead paint, and most homes built before 1950 used lead paint, officials said.

A non-profit group called the Sustainable Resources Center will install new windows in Lynne Kelly's home this week. Executive director Dan Newman said the center had done more than 1,000 "healthy home" surveys in the past year and a half, checking for lead paint, mold, excess moisture, pest infestations, safety hazards and other issues.

The grants will make an estimated 365 homes lead-safe, while 675 additional homes will be made safe from hazards identified as part of the healthy home program.

The $6.8 million HUD funding includes $3 million to the county for lead mitigation grants, and $1.9 million each to the county and city for healthy home grants.

Since 2003, HUD has provided Hennepin County with more than $24 million and Minneapolis with about $10 million for the programs, said Miller.

As with other federal programs, HUD's lead paint and healthy home programs have been cut in recent years. Funding was reduced from $140 million in 2010 to $120 million this year and another 10 percent may be cut in 2012, Miller said.

~ Randy Furst

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From the Office of the MN Department of Commerce

State program exceeds goal, weatherizes more than 17,000 homes!

Federal stimulus funds help save energy, create jobs, boost the economy

(ST. PAUL, MN)  Minnesota’s Weatherization Assistance Program has exceeded its goal of weatherizing 16,858 homes using $132 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, not only surpassed its goal set by DOE, but achieved its milestone well before the March 2012 deadline and did it by spending less than its grant total.

From April 2009 to June 30, the weatherization program served 17,153 Minnesota households using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Roughly $16 million in ARRA funds remain and will be used to weatherize about 2,000 to 2,500 additional homes by March 31, 2012. Nationally, as of June 30, 2011, more than 484,000 homes have been weatherized using nearly $3.3 billion in ARRA funds, according to DOE.

“Our Division of Energy Resources has been vigilant in using every stimulus dollar effectively, delivering jobs, energy savings and results to families and communities served by this important program,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “The one-time, strategic investment made in the program by ARRA will permanently reduce the cost of heating and cooling tens of thousands of Minnesota homes, providing a significant economic benefit to our state.”

Minnesota’s weatherization program enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient with weatherization work such as exterior wall and attic insulation, air sealing, and repairs or replacement of home heating systems.

“We were among the first states in the nation to reach our ARRA weatherization goal,” said Bill Grant, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. “Reaching this milestone in a timely and efficient manner is a tribute to our Weatherization Assistance Program staff and the 31 service providers around the state who implement the services.”

The impact of the program has been significant, and it will be felt for years to come. Households that received weatherization will save energy and see their energy bills decrease substantially—many by one third to one half. The annual average savings per household is estimated at $400.

In addition, the weatherization work has had a significant impact on Minnesota’s economy. Estimates show that ARRA dollars administered for weatherization created or retained about 500 full-time equivalent jobs each quarter over the last two years in Minnesota.

A University of Minnesota Extension study found that for every direct job funded by the program, an additional three-quarters of a job was created in the private sector in the state. The study also concluded that each dollar spent on weatherization generated an additional $1.09, on average, of economic activity in Minnesota. For every dollar earned by a weatherization worker, an additional 86 cents was earned by workers in other state industries.

“In a normal year, our state Weatherization Assistance Program would weatherize about 3,000 homes, but the federal stimulus funding allowed for greatly expanded service,” said Marilou Cheple, supervisor of the program. “It was a welcome opportunity, because the need for energy efficiency upgrades is huge, especially among the low-income homes we serve. Our local service providers have met the challenge to ramp up service and have done it with quality.”

Weatherization assistance is available to homeowners and renters who are at or below 200 percent of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines ($44,700 for a family of four) and who have qualified for Energy Assistance. Priority for weatherization assistance is given to households with at least one elderly person, one disabled member, families with children under age 19, and to those with the highest heating costs. Eligible households receive an energy audit to determine cost-effective measures to meet the needs of each home.

“The ARRA-funded weatherization is a win-win-win situation,” said Cheple. “It saves energy and reduces energy bills, reduces our carbon footprint, and stimulated the economy when the state needed it most. There’s also the prospect that the enhanced weatherization skills developed by our contractors may be applied to a home retrofit market in the private sector—beyond the low-income households we serve.”

Five billion dollars in federal stimulus funds were allocated to states nationwide in 2009, with the goal of serving 600,000 households with weatherization services by March 31, 2012.

For more information on the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program, please visit www.energy.mn.gov (click on “low income assistance”) or call 651-296-5175 or 800-657-3710.

Economic Impact of Weatherization Programs in Minnesota

Prepared by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality as an offering of the Economic Impact Analysis Program. University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer. This material is available in alternative formats upon request. Contact your University of Minnesota Extension office or the Extension Store at 800-876-8636.

The Economic Impact of Minnesota’s Weatherization Programs: An Input-Output Analysis Sustainable Resources Center (Hennepin County)

A recent economic impact analysis concludes weatherization work has a meaningfully significant impact on Minnesota communities. The impacts vary by region and by weatherization activity, but on average the programs create one additional dollar of economic output with every dollar of spending. This heightened impact is likely attributable to the availability of manufacturers and suppliers of weatherization products in Minnesota and to the vast network of weatherization agencies throughout the state. Approach In order to quantify the economic impact of Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAP), University of Minnesota researchers used an input-output model. The model traces the flow of dollars throughout on economy and quantifies the economic effects (in dollars and employment) of spending for a specific activity. To get a true measure of regional weatherization spending activities, individual weatherization assistance program service providers in Minnesota were surveyed. The input-output model was customized to reflect the individual provider responses. The input-output model was created using IMPLAN software and data.

Findings

WAP enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. The long-lived improvements of weatherization services result in substantial benefits for weatherization clients while improving the health and safety of their homes. In addition, WAP generates economic activity in the local economy.

  • For every weatherization dollar spent in Hennepin County, an additional $0.62, on average, is generated in economic activity in the region.
  • For each direct job funded by the program, an additional 0.42 jobs, on average, are created in the region.
  • Finally, for every dollar earned by weatherization workers, an additional $0.46, on average, is earned by other workers in the region. Weatherization programs reach beyond the region they immediately serve: these impacts can be seen statewide.
Research indicates that:
  • For every dollar spent in Minnesota on weatherization programs, an additional $1.09, on average, of economic activity is created in the state.
  • For each direct job funded by the program, an additional 0.77 jobs are generated in the state.
  • For every dollar earned by weatherization workers, an additional $0.86, on average, is earned by other workers in the state.
Additional Weatherization Value 

This analysis focuses only on the economic value generated per $1 of weatherization spending. These results hold true regardless of the funding source (federal, ARRA stimulus, etc). There is also a value to the dollars saved in energy costs and of social, physical and health improvements – which is not included in this study.

About this Study

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Office of Energy Security (OES) and Minnesota Community Action Partnership recently collaborated to analyze the statewide and regional economic impact of weatherization programs in Minnesota. Research was conducted by University of Minnesota Extension in early 2010. This factsheet is a summary of the results for this region. A full report explaining the statewide study in detail is available upon request.

Recursos Para Eliminar Los Riesgos de Plomo

¿Vive usted en una casa o apartamento construido antes 1978? ¿Tiene usted niños menos que 6 años? ¿Vive usted en el Condado de Hennepin? ¡Entonces usted quizás sea elegible para servicios para controlar el peligro de plomo! La solución para prevenir el envenemiento de plomo es eliminar la fuente. Eso puede ser muy costoso y peligroso sin la instrucción apropiada. Afortunadamente en este momento en el Condado de Hennepin hay los recursos de ayudar las familias identificar y arreglar los peligros del plomo en su casa.

¡Llame al 612-872-3282 para averiguar más! ¡Hablamos Español!

Resources to Remove Lead from Your Home

Do you live in a home or apartment built before 1978? Do you have children under the age of 6? Do you live in Hennepin County? Then you might be elegible for FREE lead hazard control services! The number one way to prevent lead exposure is to remove the source. That can be a costly and dangerous endeavor without the proper training. Luckily right now in Hennepin County there are resources to help families identify and remediate dangerous lead hazards in their homes.

Call 612-872-3282 to find out more!! Hablamos Español!

The Silent Poison: Childhood Lead Poisoning

By Karla J. Walker, Pharm.D., DABCC, FACB

Nearly half a million children under the age of 5 in the United States currently have blood lead levels high enough to cause irreversible damage to their health. Adults and children are both at risk for lead poisoning, but children are more vulnerable because their growing bodies absorb lead more readily. While many parents remain unaware, this silent poison may be damaging their child's life and future.

Lead can affect almost every organ in the human body and is particularly harmful to the developing brain and central nervous system of a fetus and young child. The most important step in treating a poisoned child is to end the exposure by removing the lead source from the child's environment.

The most common source of lead exposure is dust found in older homes containing lead-based paint. This dust may be easily ingested through hand-to-mouth activity typical of young children. Paint chips, lead lead-contaminated soil, drinking water, food, ceramics, herbal home remedies, toy jewelry, hair dyes, and other cosmetics are also potential sources of lead exposure found in the home.

The term silent poison refers to the fact that lead-poisoned children may exhibit no outward symptoms. While he or she may seem perfectly healthy, irreversible damage may be occurring. A blood lead test is the only way to find out if your child has been exposed.

To encourage more parents and guardians to take this preventive step, a less-invasive blood lead screening technique geared for the pediatric population was developed and is available at numerous doctors' offices and clinics. The filter paper lead screen, such as the one offered by MEDTOX Laboratories in St. Paul, Minnesota provides an accurate result with only two drops of blood. This test can replace more traumatic venous and capillary tube collections as an accurate screening tool.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be screened at both 12 and 24 months of age, or at least once by age 6 if they have not yet been tested. Screening should start as young as 6 months if the child is at an elevated risk for lead exposure. One group of children at higher risk is those who live in or regularly visit a home built before 1978.

In addition to a blood test, there are some simple steps parents can take to prevent or lessen the threat of lead exposure (see sidebar). Even if precautions are taken, children should still be screened at the recommended intervals. Severe poisoning may result in anemia, severe stomachache, muscle weakness, and brain damage. Less-severe and less less-apparent cases of exposure can still affect a child's mental and physical growth, as well as affect cognitive and behavioral development.

Unborn children are also at risk, as they can be exposed to lead through their mothers. Harmful effects may include premature birth, low birth weight, decreased mental growth, and stunted physical growth after birth.

Great effort has been exerted over the past 25 years to remove lead from gasoline, paints, and additional products in the United States. The overall decline in average blood lead levels over that time frame reflects the success of these efforts, but because lead does not break down or decompose from past use, childhood lead poisoning remains a major, preventable health problem today.

For more information on lead poisoning or to find out whether you qualify for free lead-abatement services, contact the Minnesota Department of Health Lead Program (651-215-0890) or Sustainable Resource Center (612-870-4937). For more information on filter paper lead screening, call 1-800-FOR-LEAD.

Dr. Karla J. Walker, is the director of clinical toxicology at Medtox Laboratories, located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Preventing lead poisoning: Five simple precautions
  1. Keep your home clean. At least once a week, wash areas such as hard surface floors and window sills. Use a solution of water and an all-purpose cleaner.
  2. Stay away from peeling paint. Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint and does not chew on painted surfaces such as cribs or window ledges.
  3. Leave your shoes at the door. Don't bring dust into your home.
  4. Wash regularly. Wash your child's hands often with soap and water, especially before meals, snacks, naps, and bedtime. Wash toys, pacifiers, and bottles often with soap and water. Stuffed toys, in particular, accumulate dust and should be washed often.
  5. Eat healthy foods. Have your child eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Less lead is absorbed when children have food in their systems. Feed your child food that is high in calcium, iron, and vitamin C, such as milk, cheese, fish, peanut butter, and raisins. Don't eat serve them too many fried or fatty foods. These foods allow the body to absorb lead faster.