HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 09-15-11
John Gemmill
(901) 544-3403
For Release
September 15, 2011

Funding to make low-income housing safer and healthier

MEMPHIS - The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $3 million to protect children and families living in Tennessee 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 Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. "This grant will help communities to protect families from lead exposure and other significant health and safety hazards."

The City of Memphis will be awarded $3,000,000 in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration funds to perform lead
hazard reduction activities and coordinate with community partners to educate, train and mitigate lead issues in housing units. The program will evaluate 350 homes for lead paint hazards and eliminate lead hazards in 220 homes. They will conduct outreach and education activities and provide training to 130 individuals in lead hazard reduction. The City will be partnering with Memphis Housing Authority, Shelby County Health Department, Memphis Community Development Council, and Faith Based Organizations in this program. For more information, contact Program Manager Edmund Warford at (901)576-7333 or

State Grantee Total Amount
Tennessee City of Memphis $3,000,000

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 and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: June 24, 2013