|HUD Region V No. 11-137
Laura J. Feldman
September 15, 2011
HUD AWARDS $3 MILLION TO PROTECT MINNESOTA CHILDREN FROM LEAD AND OTHER HOME HAZARDS
Funding to make low-income housing safer and healthier
CHICAGO - The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $3 million to protect children and families living in Hennepin County, Minn. from potentially dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.
The grant funding announced today is part of $93 million HUD is awarding nationwide to clean up lead and other health hazards in nearly 7,000 high-risk homes, train workers in lead safety methods, and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and have effects lasting into adulthood.
"Protecting the health and well-being of children is a top priority for HUD. We know that housing conditions directly affect the health of its occupants," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "These grants will help communities around the nation to protect families from lead exposure and other significant health and safety hazards."
"We are doing everything in our power to ensure the family home is the safe and healthy sanctuary it should be for families in Minnesota," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Administrator.
Grant summary: The Hennepin County Public Works will be awarded $3,000,000 in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program funds to further undertake lead hazard control in residential dwellings. The program will evaluate homes for lead paint and hazards, eliminate lead hazards in 365 homes; conduct outreach and education to reach at least 125 people through current contracts with three community based organizations that conduct lead education events, door to door canvassing and in-home lead education visits.
With these grant awards, HUD makes it clear that providing healthy and safe homes for families and children is a priority. It's simple: you can't be healthy if your home is sick. HUD is committed to protecting children from these hazards, as part of the Department's effort to help make the nation's housing healthy and sustainable.
Through these 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.
Lead Hazard Control Grant Programs
Even though lead-based paint was banned for residential use 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 directs critical funds to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards in thousands of privately-owned, low-income housing units. These funds are provided through HUD's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs. To expand the reach of HUD's Lead Hazard Control Program, more than $4 million of this funding will support new grantees. HUD is also providing nearly $2.3 million to help communities transform their lead hazard control programs to address multiple housing-related hazards.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.