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Grants Offered for Lead Work

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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The federal government says it will offer dozens of grants to help eliminate dangerous lead-based paint hazards from lower-income households in order to protect young children.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the grants in a Feb. 8 press release. This funding will also provide an opportunity for local communities to establish and support programs to control other housing-related health and safety hazards, officials say.

lead paint
© iStock.com / Hoppyard

HUD expects to make approximately 32 awards under its lead grant programs.

The grants to states, local governments and the private sector are being offered through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program. In these programs, HUD will provide additional funding (healthy homes supplemental funds) to identify and remediate other housing-related health hazards in homes where lead-based paint hazards are being controlled.

HUD expects to make approximately 32 awards under these programs. This estimate assumes funding at the same level as Fiscal Year 2016, officials note. The actual number of awards made under this funding notice will depend on the amount of Congress appropriates in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, the number of eligible applicants, and other factors.

Targeting Unhealthy Homes

Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These homes affect the economy directly, through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly, through lost wages and increased school days missed.

The housing improvements communities will make will help prevent injuries and illnesses; reduce associated health care and social services costs; reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work; and reduce stress, all which help to improve the quality of life.

Grant Applications

HUD requires prospective grantees to submit their applications via www.grants.gov

Any changes to HUD-published funding notices will be made available to the public through a Federal Register publication and published on the government-wide portal.

Applicants are urged to sign up for Grants.gov’s notification service to receive periodic updates or changes to these grant offerings.

New Lead Rule

The grant announcement follows the publication of a new rule lowering the department’s threshold of lead in the child’s blood to match the more protective guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

lead
© iStock.com / jarun011

HUD’s new action level for lead in a young child’s blood has been lowered from 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to 5.

HUD’s new action level for lead in a young child’s blood has been lowered from 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to 5, according to the final rule.

Young children living in HUD-assisted homes have lower blood lead levels than do comparable children in unassisted homes, the department explained in January. Still, some young children living in HUD-assisted homes have blood lead levels higher than CDC's threshold.

“By lowering HUD's reference level to conform to CDC's, the department will be able to intervene more quickly to stop the negative impact lead can have on the lives of these and other young children,” the rule announcement noted.

The rule will cover about 3 million HUD-assisted housing units built before 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned from residential use. Of these homes, 500,000 are estimated to have children under six residing in them.

   

Tagged categories: Funding; Government; Grants; Health and safety; Housing; HUD; Lead; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Renovation

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