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OLHCHH - Making an Impact! - May 2024 Issue

The latest issue of Making an Impact! from HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.
 
Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes

May 2024

FLAP

Federal Lead Action Plan Progress Reports Issued!

On May 9th, the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children released the Progress Report on the Federal Lead Action Plan. This report provides a detailed overview of the government's advancements in reducing childhood lead exposures since 2018. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are spearheading efforts to address lead exposure as co-leading members of the Task Force's Lead Exposures Subcommittee.

The 2018 Federal Lead Action Plan was released with a clear vision: to reduce childhood exposure to lead and its harmful effects. Since then, the federal government has been working to implement strategies outlined in the plan, and leveraging partnerships with states, Tribes, local communities, business, and caregivers to achieve this shared goal.

Resources:

New HUD Policy change to the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) 24 CFR 55

By:  Karen M. Griego

  1. The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) was published in the  Federal Register on 4/24/2024.
  2. The Effective Date of FFRMS is 5/23/2024 (with a compliance transition period of 30 days)
  3. The Compliance Date is 6/24/2024.
  4. FFRMS does not apply to HUD-assisted minor improvements (repair/rehabilitation) projects including residential and non-residential structures.
    1. As relates to flood insurance, a separate element of the environmental review, the requirements for our programs are not affected by this new rule.  Continue to use the FEMA FIRM to determine whether or not the proposed project site is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) (i.e., Zone A or 100-year floodplain).
    2. Flood Insurance is still required if the structure is located in the SFHA, when the total repair/rehab investment is over $10,000.  HUD encourages flood insurance outside the SFHA, within the FFRMS; we have always recommended flood insurance regardless of location or investment amount.

FFRMS and OLHCHH grant-funded projects:  Under Part 58, our grantees are required to publish the Notice of Intent/Request for Release of Funds (NOI/RROF) in a newspaper of general circulation of the grant target area (and/or post in public spaces like post offices, libraries, gov't buildings, etc.).  As of 5/23/2024,  our grantees have the option to post their NOI/RROF on a gov't website of the target area.  The gov't website must be accessible to individuals with disabilities and provide access to individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).  Posting on the website changes the public comment period, 10 days to the Responsible Entity followed by the usual 15 days to HUD.

Federal Register

Building Healthy and Resilient: Affordable Housing Solutions for a Changing World

By:  Michelle A. Roberts

Safe, healthy housing isn't a luxury – it's a necessity. Achieving affordability while prioritizing health and disaster resilience can seem like a challenge.

The Intersection of Needs:

  • Health:Healthy homes are free from mold, lead, and other hazards that can trigger respiratory problems and exacerbate existing health conditions. Proper ventilation and natural light also play a crucial role in overall well-being.
  • Disaster Resilience:With climate change increasing the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, homes need to be built to withstand floods, high winds, and earthquakes. This translates to stronger foundations, wind-resistant roofing, and strategic placement away from flood plains.
  • Affordability:The rising cost of housing makes it difficult for many families to access safe, healthy options. Creative solutions are needed to bridge the gap and ensure everyone has a secure place to call home.
Learn More

Grantee Spotlight: Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP)

Disability Advocates

Disability Advocates was one of the first grantees for this program back in 2021.  Their focus is on 5 rural counties where funds for home modifications are limited.  Their goal is to complete 150 modifications.  To date, they have completed 140 of the 150 Occupational Therapy home assessments which is a key piece of this program and ensures that homeowners receive not only some modifications and improvements to their home, but also education on safety and an abundance of community resources they may not have had knowledge of prior to this program.  Disability Advocates is fortunate to partner with several community agencies to provide more resources and stretch the dollars allocated.  Their program has done some higher cost jobs, particularly walk-in showers that is a huge need for several of the consumers. Couple of examples of the impact:

  • Nellie is an 82-year-old who has had a stroke and a fall risk.  Her husband is a Veteran. She had jetted bathtub with a high wall to step over the side.  She had fallen in the tub, and she reported “I hit my head so hard I saw stars”.  Disability advocates received several bids to replace this bathtub, one was for $12,660 and another for $16,000.  They found a more local plumber who was able to complete the job for $5,100.  This consumer is now safe and so pleased with this modification.
  • A more low-cost modification was for a 68-year-old gentleman who had recent hip surgery.  He needed several railings in his home for safety on the stairs. These railings were installed in 4 different areas and made a huge difference for this consumer's safety. 

Both of these Seniors benefited greatly from this program and continue to live safely in their homes.


Resources

Summer Safety Tips

Videos


The HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes' mission is to help all Americans, especially children and other vulnerable populations in low-income households, reach their full potential by making homes safe and healthy.  Learn more.

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