FEMA Awards Healthy Homes Coalition $51,451 for Fire Safety Program


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an award of $51,451 on September 9, 2016 to the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to make 400 homes safer for children. The award will allow the Healthy Homes Coalition to teach fire safety and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in 400 homes.

The Healthy Homes Coalition has been a partner in FEMA-funded fire prevention and safety programs since 2009 and has served 2,092 homes in the cities of Wyoming, Kentwood, and Grand Rapids to date. The new award will allow the Healthy Homes Coalition to serve an additional 400 households during the next twelve months.

Eligible households must have a resident child fourteen years of age or younger and the home must be located within the municipal boundaries of Kentwood, Wyoming, or the city of Grand Rapids. Both owner occupied and tenant occupied housing are eligible for services, which include the installation of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Owner occupied homes will be brought up to local code. Rental property will receive two alarms to assure a basic level of safety for the occupant children, the owner will be encouraged to bring the property up to code in 30 days, and non-compliant owners will be reported to code enforcement.

This is the Healthy Homes Coalition’s sixth FEMA award for this activity. “We have exceeded our contracted deliverables for FEMA each year,” said Paul Haan, Healthy Homes Coalition Executive Director. “When struggling families have to choose between groceries and safety for their children, this grant allows us to step in so they can provide both,” said Haan.

In homes with fires where smoke alarm status was reported from 2011-2015, only 37.9% had a working alarm according to the Grand Rapids Fire Department.