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William and Danielle have owned their 1920 single family home in Baltimore’s Winston-Govans neighborhood for nine years. They needed to repair the home for the safety of their three children, 16-year-old Ciera, 12-year-old Simone and 10-year-old Akil, but the cost was overwhelming. Several windows were painted shut, mice left droppings in the kitchen and poor insulation made it hard to keep the home warm in the winter. These issues contributed to Akil’s health—he was regularly hospitalized for severe asthma episodes, going to the hospital three times a year for a week at a time, since his birth. Danielle reached out for help online and found the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI).
GHHI Baltimore performed a comprehensive assessment and also found that there were high levels of lead dust in the home, posing an immediate risk to the family. In the integrated intervention that followed, the GHHI Baltimore team stabilized lead hazards, replaced windows, performed integrated pest management, repaired leaking faucets, installed new gutters and downspouts, sealed air leaks and cleaned the carpets to remove harmful allergens.
In the year following the intervention, Akil has not returned to the hospital, resulting in an annual estimated cost savings of $48,300 per year. For the past two years, he has not missed a day of school. By replacing the windows and sealing air leaks, the family saved $721 on utility bills in the first year following the intervention, and reduced its energy usage by 14 percent.
“You can feel the difference,” Danielle said. “I feel really blessed.”