HUD Archives: News Releases

Lee Jones
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For Release
October 5, 2009

Funding helps to make low-income housing safer and healthier

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a $4 million grant to the City
of Portland's Housing Bureau to conduct a range of activities to reduce the presence of lead in the city's housing stock and, thereby, protect lead poisoning and impairment among Portland's children.

Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and have effects lasting into adulthood and other materials in the home can trigger allergic responses and asthma.

The award to Portland was one of 46 grants awarded today to local projects totaling $118 million. They were announced by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan yesterday at the Council on Foundations conference in San Antonio, Texas.

"To grow up healthy, children need to live in healthy homes," said Secretary Donovan. "HUD is helping communities around the nation protect children from lead poisoning as part of HUD's effort to help make the nation's housing healthy, green, energy efficient and sustainable."

Today's awards were in four categories - $69,034,591 for Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control grants; $1,184,386 for Lead Outreach grants; $326,962 for Health Homes Demonstration grants; and, $48,000,000 for Lead Hazard
Reduction Demonstration grants.

The City of Portland's Housing Bureau is receiving $4 million under the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration component of today's awards. The City will assess lead hazards in 425 multifamily and owner-occupied homes; eliminate hazards in 425 homes; and provide education/outreach. The City is partnering with the Portland Development Commission, the Multnomah County Health Department, the Housing Authority of Portland and local community development corporations.

Through these four 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 and other housing hazards.

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.


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 and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet

Content Archived: March 15, 2011