Living Lead Free in Lincoln
[Photo 1: Anita Bermundez]
Anita Bermundez with a photo of her grandson.
[Photo 2: Anita Bermundez, Maria Bynum and Bernice Edwards]
Anita Bermundez (center), Field Office Director Maria Bynum (center right), and First State Executive Director Bernice Edwards (center left) and staff stand in front of Anita's new kitchen windows.
[Photo 3 Scott Smith]
First State's Scott Smith highlighting the work on the porch roof.
[Photo 4: Handrail attached to porch steps]
The handrail that was attached to the porch steps.

The grandson of Lincoln resident Anita Bermundez used to call her home the bug house. Today, it is bug free, lead free, safer and more energy efficient!

First State Community Action Agency (First State) used HUD's Lead-Based Hazard Control (LBPHC) grant program to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in Bermundez's home. First State says the monies funded the replacement of Bermundez's windows in her kitchen and in her laundry room. The removal of the lead-based paint eliminates the associated health dangers. Lead is a highly toxic metal that the body can absorb and can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood, especially in young children.

Bermundez says her home was built prior to 1978 which prompted First State to assess whether there was lead paint in her home. Once it was determined the home was at risk, First State spent about two weeks over a five-month period first removing the lead paint and replacing the windows before addressing other safety hazards.

First State's Scott Smith says they scraped and re-painted the pantry shelves in the kitchen. The porch ceiling was covered with vinyl soffit and caulked around the edges. The total cost of the remediation was approximately $18,000.

With HUD's Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) funding, the deteriorating porch floor was replaced and painted, and hand rails were added to the front and side porch steps to complete the makeover. The HHI builds upon HUD's successful Lead Hazard Control programs to expand its efforts, in a coordinated fashion, to address a variety of environmental health and safety concerns.

Smith says he enjoyed working with Bermundez, "She was so engaged in the renovations of the house. She was fully invested in fixing her home." He added, "As we were working to abate the lead, she was painting on the inside and purchased a screen door for the porch."

That screen door keeps the bugs outside to the delight of her grandson. The window replacements also help with energy savings. Bermundez, who is retired, and First State Executive Director Bernice Edwards hosted HUD's Delaware Field Office Director Maria Bynum on a tour of her home.

"It was really nice to work with First State," said Bermundez. "I am so pleased and happy with the improvements to my home."

HUD awarded the Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health $2,888,728 in LBPHC grant program funding and $400,000 in HHI funding. The Delaware Health and Social Services collaborated with the First State Community Action Agency, La Esperanza and other state and local agencies to remediate lead from 162 homes in Kent and Sussex Counties.

The Healthy Homes Basics app offers practical how-to guidance on how to have a safe and healthy home. The app offers introductory information and guidance for consumers by teaching the "Principles of a Healthy Home." For those users more familiar with healthy homes concepts, the app features detailed information by topic. Download Healthy Homes Basics via Google or look for it on iTunes TODAY!