October 23, 2008
HUD AWARDS $1.4 MILLION TO PROTECT MALDEN 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 $1.4 million in grants to the Malden Redevelopment Authority 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. The funding is part of $131 million awarded nationwide.
"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 Malden Redevelopment Authority will use the funding to continue its long-standing working relationship with primary partners including Healthy Malden, Inc., TriCAP and the Malden Board of Health, providing a comprehensive education, outreach and blood lead level testing program. MRA will inspect at least 125 housing units for lead paint hazards, control hazards in 100 units and make them affordable to low-income families with young children, provide outreach and education to 4,000 individuals, and provide economic opportunities for small local contractors by
offering a scholarship for lead certification to 20 participants.
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 (http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/nlic.htm), 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.