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States, Cities Win Grants to Remove Lead

Thursday, September 17, 2015

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More than $101 million in federal funding has been awarded to 32 cities, counties and state governments to combat lead-based paint.

The funding comes as part of a competitive U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding round.

The grants will protect children and families by eliminating lead-based paint and other health hazards in more than 6,000 low-income homes nationwide, according to an Aug. 27 announcement.

lead removal
©iStock.com / j4m3z

The funding will help facilitate lead-based paint abatement projects in thousands of homes nationwide.

A summary of the grants awarded is available here.

In addition to the Lead Hazard Control grants, HUD said it is also providing the grantees more than $8.8 million in Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help communities mitigate multiple health hazards in high-risk housing.

The U.S. banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978, but the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 37 million older homes in the U. S. still have lead-based paint.

Funding Announcement

"Every family deserves to live in a safe and healthy home where they can see their children thrive and excel," HUD Secretary Julián Castro said during a news conference in Baltimore.

The City of Baltimore is one of the grantees. There, officials will use a $3.4 million award to perform lead-abatement and other cleanup in 230 housing units.

Baltimore
©iStock.com / jwilkinson

The City of Baltimore is among the 32 recipients of grant funding.

An additional $325,000 in Health Homes funding will allow the city to conduct healthy homes assessments in 330 units, according to funding details.

According to the Baltimore Sun, this is the first major lead-related federal grant to the city in three years.

Advocates and officials state that such funding has helped cut the number of lead-paint poisoning cases by more than 90 percent since the mid-1990s, the newspaper said.

Threat to the Future

"Millions of families and children are seeing their hope for the future threatened by poor health simply because of where they live," said Matthew E. Ammon, director of HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.

"While we've made tremendous progress reducing lead-based paint hazards in our older housing stock, far too many children continue to be exposed to potentially dangerous lead and other health hazards in the home."

HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes does the following:

  • Promotes local efforts to eliminate lead-based paint and other health hazards from lower income homes;
  • Stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control;
  • Supports cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards; and
  • Educates the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.

Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the economy directly, through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly through lost wages and increased school days missed, according to HUD.

   

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

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