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Non-profit turns meth-contaminated home into community asset

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Posted at 9:44 PM, Apr 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-18 23:44:13-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A dramatic home renovation in West Valley City shows off some of the latest ideas out there when it comes to having a safe, healthy and energy-efficient home.

Developers say the home they renovated used to have methamphetamine contamination, mold, mildew and asbestos-based paint. The roof was practically gone, and those were just some of the problems.

But now, thanks to the Community Development Corporation of Utah, the house at 3888 South 2520 West underwent a dramatic transformation.

“We take the absolute worst home on a block, the most dilapidated home that no one will repair, and we take it and we make it a model home for the neighborhood, creating a community asset,” said Darin Bush, the CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Utah. “You know, as a result, we also create an affordable product for a working family to buy and own."

The non-profit organization has been around for about 25 years and serves homes across Utah.

“What we do is we’ve rehabilitated the home, and then we’ll sell it to a working family who can qualify,” Bush said. “We also provide mortgage financing for low and moderate-income families. We’re also a housing counseling agency, so we prepare home buyers long-term for success.”

Neighbors in the area said they're relieved the non-profit picked up this particular project and saved them from an eyesore.

“Before, I think it was a danger; it was a scary place,” said Kris Walker.

The home’s yard was upgraded thanks to the Granger Hunter Improvement District, which provided new sod, larger flowerbeds and concrete in the back. The whole landscaping system was created to conserve water and be sustainable.

“It lifts the spirits of the entire neighborhood, it creates a model for what people can achieve, and that's kind of the purpose of the open house, too, is that we show the neighbors some of the things that they can do with their homes,” Bush said of the project.

In the past 10 years, the Community Development Corporation of Utah has remodeled about 400 of these types of homes around the state, but they said this home was definitely one of the worst they'd ever acquired.