In a move to reduce and eradicate the amount of lead-based paint hazards and other contamination issues in houses and apartments, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is announcing the availability of more than $330 million in support grant funding.
“Housing conditions directly affect the health of its residents,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a statement announcing the unprecedentedly large funding effort.
“Grants like these will help communities around the nation protect themselves from the danger of lead exposure and other health and safety hazards,” continued Carson.
The grants are being made available through HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction program, as well as its Healthy Homes Production for Tribal Housing initiative, and will go directly to cities, counties, states, and Native American tribal governments involved in lead paint mitigation efforts.
According to HUD statistics there are currently some 24 million homes that were built before 1978, when lead-based paint was banned for residential use, that remain subject to lead paint contamination.
The health risks for individuals and especially children living in homes with such paint include anemia, impaired hearing, kidney damage, and learning disabilities, among other issues.
Focusing on cities and counties, the HUD Lead Hazard Reduction program is particularly geared for what are defined as high impact neighborhoods populated with pre-1940 housing.
Grants under this program will range between $3 million and $9 million each.
The Healthy Homes Production for Tribal Housing program is designed to help Native American and Alaska Native tribal governments put together programs to identify and remediate such toxic housing issues.
Grants in this program will be up to $1 million each.
Application deadlines for grants in either program is set for August 9.
By Garry Boulard
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