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Lead Safe Habitat: Sponsoring With a Purpose

Habitat-Roanoke has kicked off a new sponsorship opportunity meant to specifically address the health and well-being of children that occupy its historic renovations. Lead Safe Habitat is a way for interested corporate or philanthropic partners to invest directly in an aspect of a Habitat-Roanoke’s rehabilitation projects that is mandatory, necessary, and ever-increasingly expensive by sponsoring the funding needed for our construction team to safely mitigate asbestos and lead paint from the blighted homes we reconstruct for families in need.

Lead and Asbestos Mitigation

Because Habitat-Roanoke works in historic Roanoke City neighborhoods, rehabilitation housing projects almost always involve lead and asbestos mitigation. Since 2022, Habitat-Roanoke’s home build projects have been concentrated in the Belmont-Fallon neighborhood of Southeast Roanoke. Over 75% of the housing stock in Belmont-Fallon was built between 1890-1950, when lead paint and asbestos was used in home construction.

Seventy-nine percent of Habitat-Roanoke homebuyers are women. A significant majority of those women are single mothers responsible for the care and nurturing of young children or grandchildren. It is imperative our homebuyers have a living environment safe from toxic chemicals that can harm and/or permanently damage its inhabitants.

Most housing developers do not take on such projects because of the cost, but we do, because renewal and rehab of blighted, toxic structures benefits our community as well as the homebuyer family who will dwell in the rehabbed house.

Habitat-Roanoke goes above and beyond what is required

Asbestos is known to stay in a person’s lungs for as long as 50 years. Early exposure by children can lead to mesothelioma and/or other serious diseases. Lead is even more dangerous, causing serious brain and nervous system damage, especially in children under six. Other problems children may face through lead exposure include stunted growth and development, learning and behavioral problems, and issues with hearing and speech.

Mitigation of lead and asbestos is not easy, nor is it cheap. Habitat-Roanoke goes above and beyond what is required. Lead & asbestos mitigation for each rehab house can cost up to $30,000 to ensure the property becomes a safe home for Habitat homebuyer families and their children. By isolating this cost, one that is specifically in the name of child safety, Habitat-Roanoke hopes to help educate donors and sponsors in some of the more specific aspects of our work.

While Habitat-Roanoke is committed to helping homebuyers up into affordable housing, it is important to understand that we are committed to safe affordable housing, going above and beyond what is required to achieve that.

Interested in learning more? Contact Director of Development, David Tate at