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HUD Announces $10 Million to Help Communities Protect Children from the Dangers of Lead
WASHINGTON - More than a thousand communities across the country are receiving a letter this week from the Department of Housing and Urban Development offering nearly $10 million to help protect children from the dangers of lead.
The assistance is part of HUD's strategy to help communities comply with the nation's new Lead Safety Regulation covering federally assisted housing. HUD will provide States and local governments up to $150 for each housing unit "cleared" of lead hazards in certain federally assisted housing rehabilitation projects. Clearance testing is among the new requirements under the new lead rule.
"This funding is an investment in our children and the future generation of America," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "We are committed to joining local communities across the country in a national campaign to eliminate childhood lead poisoning."
HUD's transition assistance provides the first comprehensive lead-based paint risk assessment of housing developments receiving federal project-based Section 8 assistance that were built before 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned for residential use. Risk assessments are conducted to determine whether lead hazards are present in a home, while clearance tests are performed after lead hazard work is completed to ensure cleanup was done properly.
The assistance announced today will help defray the cost of clearance testing - the process used to ensure that cleanup was done properly and to declare housing lead safe.
"This $10 million is part of $104 million dedicated to help communities conduct lead testing in federally assisted, low-income housing," said HUD Assistant Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. "The money will also help train additional inspectors and other workers, including maintenance and renovation specialists."
HUD's lead safety regulations address the latest scientific evidence that shows most children who suffer from lead poisoning are exposed to invisible lead dust that is released when paint is peeling, damaged or disturbed. Lead dust settles on floors and other surfaces where it can easily come into contact with children.
Lead poses a serious health risk, particularly to children, and can cause permanent damage to the brain and other organs. In the U.S., nearly a million children under the age of six suffer from lead poisoning. Children from low-income families are five times more likely to suffer from lead poisoning and minority children are disproportionately affected.
Lead poisoning has been linked to juvenile delinquency and behavioral problems. Research shows that children with elevated blood lead levels are seven times more likely to drop out of school and twice as likely to lose a few years in language acquisition.
In addition to today's announcement, HUD is providing training in communities where there is a need for more inspectors and workers who are skilled in the proper handling of lead. This will increase the number of people who are qualified to conduct testing and treatment requirements of the new HUD regulations by more than 2,000 clearance technicians and risk assessors and over 24,000 thousand maintenance, rehabilitation and abatement workers.
(Read full text of the letter from the Department below)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Dear HUD CDBG and/or HOME Grantee:
Enclosed are materials that will enable you to receive up to $150 per dwelling unit for clearance testing in your housing covered by HUD's new Lead Safety Regulation. HUD is providing nearly $10,000,000 to grantees to help ensure that children are protected from lead poisoning in Federally assisted housing. The materials implement HUD Notice OHHLHC 01-01, Availability of Funds for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) Grantees for Clearance Testing Required by HUD's New Lead Safety Regulation (available at www.hud.gov/offices/lead).
In implementing the Notice, the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control contracted with Destiny Management Services, LLC, of Beltsville, MD, to process your payment requests. Each grantee that chooses to take this opportunity will:
In most cases, the Contractor will commit funds based on the estimate of the number of units. Should an estimate be submitted after all funds are committed, the Contractor will put the request for funds on a wait list.
HUD recognizes that the transition to comply with the revised Lead Safe Housing Rule is challenging. I want to acknowledge the time and effort of representatives of the grantees and public interest groups who worked with the staff of our Offices to make this project a reality.
If you have policy questions, please contact Dr. Robert F. Weisberg, of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control at (202) 755-1785, extension 113, or Robert_F._Weisberg@HUD.gov. If you have operational questions, please contact Destiny, at 1-888-937-9690 (toll-free) or email@example.com.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010
Content Archived: April 9, 2010