Health, Safety, and Energy Efficiency Enhanced Through Neighborhood Rebuilding
May 2018 - Rebuilding Together Sacramento (RTS) understands the connection between the condition of a home and the occupants’ ability to thrive. The organization provides home improvements aimed at improving the health, safety and efficiency of owner-occupied homes. The work is done in homes owned by people who are low-income and elderly, those with disabilities and families with children. RTS also improves nonprofit facilities that serve the residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
· Serve as one solution to the growing need for older adults and people with disabilities to have their homes modified for aging in place.
· Serve as a community revitalization partner that addresses the housing aspect of deteriorating homes and distressed neighborhoods.
· Serve as an organization that addresses the issue of inefficient homes by providing weatherization upgrades that reduce energy use and improve comfort.
There are hundreds of owner-occupied homes in the Promise Zone that are deteriorating. RTS volunteers and staff have improved thousands of homes within the area since the organization was established in Sacramento in 1991 but there is a lot of work to be done.
The types of services provided in over 350 homes per year include:
• Safe at Home: home safety modifications that improve the occupant’s safety and independence. The types of items include grab bars, shower seats, threshold ramps, raised toilet seats and more.
• Home Energy Conservation: Minor home energy upgrades that decrease energy use by approximately 15%. The upgrades include energy efficient lighting, shower heads, insulated electrical gaskets, weather stripping and window caulking.
• Rebuild Home Improvement Events: One to two times per year RTS hosts home improvement events in neighborhoods. The events involve volunteers who perform improvements such as safety modifications, energy and water conservation measures, new fencing, yard work, plumbing, electrical and carpentry repairs.
In the fall of 2017, RTS improved the home of a Veteran located in the Promise Zone. Many improvements were made to the home. The Sacramento Job Corps gained skills by pouring a concrete driveway/wheelchair ramp to improve accessibility for the owner.
We recently attended an Open House for the Mack Road Community Center where we converted a garage into a dance studio. We saw wonderful youth dancing their hearts out with pride in the new skills they gained and the friends they made.
The area where the Center is located was once the most crime-filled corner in Sacramento. The Center now provides a safe space for families to gather. There are numerous programs for children and families. The work RTS and its partners and volunteers did resulted in a dance studio where local youth learn to dance, exercise and have a fun time together.
The Sacramento region is not equipped to handle the housing needs for the growing older adult population. Living in their home for as long as possible is an economical option for older adults. The in-home health care and support is growing aimed at preventing repeat visits to the hospital and increasing their ability to age in place. RTS can work as the home modification team member with other organizations that provide in-home healthcare and supportive services.
RTS’s understands there are multiple factors that contribute to a healthy neighborhood and residents. The services are more impactful when they are one part of a bigger neighborhood revitalization effort. Preserving the local housing stock and improving the residents’ quality of life is a critical component of a healthy neighborhood. RTS hopes to host more home repair events in the Promise Zone in the future.
For more information on Rebuilding Together Sacramento, please visit: http://rebuildingtogethersacramento.org/