September 27, 2005
HUD AWARDS $6.7 MILLION IN MASSACHUSETTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FROM DANGEROUS LEAD AND OTHER HOME HAZARDS
Funding part of $139 million awarded nationwide to make low-income housing safer and healthier
Thousands of children and families in 26 states will live in healthier and safer homes because of more than $139
million in grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Massachusetts, $6.7 million
in total funding was awarded to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the city of Lowell, and the President and Fellows of Harvard College (see attached grant amounts and project summaries).
Through seven grant programs, HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead from lower income homes; stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control; educates the public about the dangers of lead-based paint; funds model programs that promote healthier and safer home environments; and, supports scientific research into innovative methods to identify and eliminate health
hazards in housing.
"Families need a safe and healthy home to raise their kids," said HUD Regional Director Taylor Caswell. "The funding
we announce today supports programs that protect children from a variety of health and safety hazards and represents another step toward ending childhood lead poisoning once and for all."
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as
well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
NOTE: For information on how a grantee will implement the funding, please call:
- City of Lowell, Carrie Johnson, (978) 970-4165
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Phil Hailer, (617) 573-1101
- Harvard University, Dr. John Spengler, (617) 384-8810
For more information on HUD's Lead Grant programs, or other HUD programs, call Kristine Foye, (617) 994-8218
Lead Grant Summaries
The City of Lowell will be awarded $3,000,000 in federal funds to produce 234 lead-safe units within the Greater Lowell and Merrimack Valley Region through its Department of Planning and Development. The City will give highest priority to units where children having elevated blood lead levels reside. The City will target rental housing, as well
as owner-occupied properties, and conduct hazard control activities in compliance with both Massachusetts and Federal requirements. The program will provide lead awareness training to community residents. The City of Lowell
will provide $1,026,288 in matching and/or contributions.
Contact: Carrie Johnson, Lead Abatement Program Director (978) 970-4165.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be awarded $3,000,000 in federal funds to produce 315 lead-safe housing units through its Department of Housing and Community Development. The target area includes eighteen cities in Massachusetts where children are most at risk for lead exposure. The priorities for the program will include units that contain elevated blood lead levels with an overriding priority for lead poisoned children and housing developments that that at least 30-year affordability restrictions. The Commonwealth will provide $702,000 in matching and/or contributions.
Contact: Jane Gumble, Director (617) 573-1101.
Harvard University in Cambridge, MA will be awarded $721,066 to study the presence of pesticides and other contaminants in a subset of 200 homes out of a cohort of 800 homes that are currently enrolled in a collaborative community-based study of hypertension being conducted by Florida A&M University and Harvard University School
of Public Health in Gadsden County Florida and Roxbury, Massachusetts. The existing study is being funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Agency for Health and Human Services). The researchers will sample dust in all of the homes for pesticide residues and in 100 homes samples will also be analyzed for
persistent organic contaminants and heavy metals. In Florida, the contribution of occupational pesticides to home residues will also be assessed. Researchers will also develop a strategy to communicate sampling results to study participants and public health officials.
Contact: Dr. John Spengler at (617) 384-8810.