SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield non-profit organization was awarded funding to help educate and protect low-income residents from mold in their homes.

Arise, a community-led nonprofit in Springfield, received $40,000 from E4TheFuture to educate residents about the dangers of indoor mold, advocate the implementation of mold-control codes, and provide residents with HEPA air purifiers that can help contain mold spores that aggravate respiratory conditions.

Mold can ruin furnishings, damage interiors and cause health problems. Mold is an allergy and asthma trigger, and it’s becoming more common in homes as the climate heats up. Arise helped advocate to have mold added to Massachusetts’ Sanitary Code, which establishes minimum health and safety standards for dwellings.

“In a city that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has called the asthma capital of the nation, air purifiers are only Band-Aids,” said Arise Executive Director Tanisha Arena. “But they are also tools we can use to address one of the many effects of environmental injustice in Springfield while we continue to advocate for better public policies and call out root causes of injustice and inequity, such as structural racism,” Arena said.

“In Springfield, implementation is a challenge,” Arena said. “With the E4TheFuture grant, we will keep fighting for code enforcement when landlords neglect mold problems, continue to educate our neighbors, and add to the hundreds of families with asthma diagnoses that we’ve been able to help by providing air purifiers.”

“Arise’s work is perfectly aligned with E4TheFuture’s mission to promote residential energy efficiency and sustainable resource solutions to advance climate goals equitably for all people,” said Pat Stanton, executive director of E4TheFuture.

“Mold is one of the leading adverse health and safety conditions that make it impossible to install energy efficiency measures in existing older homes. Mold in rental properties is a clear indication of deferred property maintenance and high energy costs that are systemic in low-income communities.”

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