September 30, 2008
HUD ANNOUNCES $2 MILLION GRANT TO PROTECT CHILDREN IN BRIDGEPORT FROM DANGEROUS LEAD HAZARDS IN THE HOME
HUD grant to establish a comprehensive program to create lead-safe units
in targeted housing throughout the City
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $2 million in grant funding under the Lead Elimination Action Program (LEAP) to Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust, Inc., to help protect children and families in Bridgeport from dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.
"For the past decade, our nation has aggressively attacked the epidemic of childhood lead poisoning - and we've
had great successes. I am thankful for our progress, but we have a long way to go. I believe strongly, that every family deserves a healthy home," said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. "To that end, HUD is awarding this grant as
part of our commitment to help communities eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010."
The funding announced today is expected to establish a comprehensive program to reduce lead hazards for low-
and very low-income families in targeted neighborhoods throughout the City to create lead-safe environments for young children in at least 80 housing units. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and may even cause death at high levels. The Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust partnerships will create and strengthen collaborations between local universities, multiple communities based organizations, a job training organizations
and a current lead hazard control program. Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust will provide over $300,000 in leveraged contributions from private-sector sources.
HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead and other hazards from lower income homes; stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control; educates the public about the dangers of lead-based paint; and supports scientific research into innovative methods to identify and eliminate health hazards in housing.
Even though lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates 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.