Accessibility improvements made by volunteers

A Columbia Heights home owner will have an accessible home, thanks to Rebuilding Together Twin Cities and a team of more […]

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A Columbia Heights home owner will have an accessible home, thanks to Rebuilding Together Twin Cities and a team of more than 40 Wells Fargo volunteers. The partners took part in the 2014 Healthy Housing Challenge this fall by refurbishing a home in Columbia Heights.

Rebuilding TogetherRebuilding Together Twin Cities was one of eight Rebuilding Together affiliates across the country to participate in this year’s Healthy Housing Challenge, which is a joint project of the National Center for Healthy Housing and Rebuilding Together. The Healthy Housing Challenge provides tools, training and additional funds to help Rebuilding Together affiliates make repairs at no charge to correct health and safety hazards in the homes of low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

“The Healthy Housing Challenge gives us the expertise and extra financial resources we need to make homes healthier and safer for the families we work with,” said Kathryn Greiner, executive director for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.

When a Columbia Heights property was donated to Rebuilding Together, staff saw that a wheelchair-accessible ramp was already in place. That was the inspiration to remodel the home to be completely handicap-accessible. The Healthy Housing Challenge volunteer crew repaired and stained the wheelchair ramp, installed new window wells, finished interior demolition and framed interior walls to accommodate Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

“Rebuilding Together Twin Cities has a unique opportunity to create a truly accessible house that will also be affordable for someone who is living with a disability,” said Tony Sjogren, program director for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities. “In addition, we will be making this a ‘Healthy House’ by applying the 22 goals as established by the National Center for Healthy Housing. This home will incorporate many universal design features that will make it more livable for the future home owner. Working with the Wells Fargo team and the Wells Fargo Healthy House Challenge grant will bring this project to fruition.” In addition to volunteer time, Wells Fargo provided a $15,000 grant for this project.

“I’m so proud to work for an organization that invests back in the community – this year Wells Fargo has donated $50,000 to Rebuilding Together Twin Cities,” said Julia Carlson, a Wells Fargo team member who organized the volunteer event. She pointed out that the group donated more than 300 hours’ time. Upon its completion this fall, the Columbia Heights house will be a completely handicap-accessible one story home.

To learn more or to apply for accessibility improvements to a home, contact [email protected] or call 651-776-4273. Applicants must meet income guidelines.



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