October 23, 2008
HUD AWARDS $7.9 MILLION TO PROTECT CONNECTICUT CHILDREN FROM DANGEROUS LEAD AND OTHER HOME HAZARDS
Funding aimed at programs helping to make low-income housing safer and healthier
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $7.9 million in grants to three Connecticut projects to conduct a wide range of activities, from eliminating lead hazards in homes to increasing public awareness about childhood lead poisoning. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and may even cause death at high levels.
"More than ever, children need safe and healthy homes," said HUD Secretary Steven Preston. "HUD is awarding
these grants to help communities protect children from many health and safety hazards and to build on our commitment to ending childhood lead poisoning."
The funding in Connecticut, which is part of $131 million provided nationwide, was awarded as follow:
- The ACCESS Agency, Inc., with offices in Willimantic, was awarded $1,999,161 to remedy lead hazards that are creating unsafe living environments for children less than six years of age. The project will use education, training and financial assistance to facilitate control and remediation of lead hazards in homes. The primary focus will be for units with children having elevated blood lead level of 20 micrograms per deciliter or greater
and also where pregnant women reside. The program will complete and clear 110 housing units.
- The City of New Haven's Health Department was awarded $3,000,000 to provide lead hazard control work
in 200 housing units. New Haven's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program is a collaborative partnership of
two municipal departments - the Health Department and the Livable City Initiative - and the Yale/New Haven Lead Program & Regional Treatment Center. Each partner will provide the services and oversight specific to
its field of expertise and municipal responsibility.
- Naugatuck Valley Health District, with offices in Seymour, will be awarded $3,000,000 to establish a new program which will control hazards in 154 units of low-income private housing. The Naugatuck Valley Health District is a 35 year-old regional public health entity serving Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck,
Seymour and Shelton Connecticut. The award will expand current lead capacity by introducing resources to remediate housing, and expand education and training opportunities. Collaborators include: The Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, and the State Departments of Public Health, and Economic and Community Development.
HUD and two of its federal agency partners, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, operate the National Lead Information Clearinghouse, where parents, property owners, and other members of the public can get information about lead hazards and their prevention.The Clearinghouse has a
toll free number, (800) 424-LEAD, and a web site, both of which provide information in English and Spanish.
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. 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.