The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding more than $118 million in grants to 46 local projects to conduct a wide range of activities that include eliminating lead hazards in more than 9,000 homes; training workers in lead safety methods; increasing public awareness about childhood lead poisoning; and evaluating outreach on controlling housing-based hazards. The awards were announced by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan yesterday at the Council on Foundations conference in San Antonio, Texas. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and have effects lasting into adulthood and other materials in the home can trigger allergic responses and asthma.
"To grow up healthy, children need to live in healthy homes," said Secretary Donovan. "HUD is helping communities around the nation protect children from lead poisoning as part of HUD's effort to help make the nation`s housing healthy, green, energy efficient and sustainable."
HUD is awarding grants in the following programs:
|Grant Program||Funding Awarded|
|Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control||$69,034,591|
|Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program||$48,000,000|
|Lead Outreach Grants||$1,184,386|
|Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grants||$326,962|
Through these four grant programs, HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead hazards from lower income homes; stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control; and educates the public about the dangers of lead-based paint and other housing hazards. A complete project-by-project summary of the programs awarded grants today can be found on HUD's website.
Even though lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death.
The funding announced today includes more than $117 million to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards in thousands of privately owned, low-income housing units. HUD will also award almost $1.2 million in Lead Outreach grants for public education campaigns on what parents, building owners and others can do to protect children. Finally, HUD will award nearly $327,000 in a Healthy Homes Technical Studies grant to improve understanding of housing-related factors that affect the health of children in housing.