The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded over $101 million to 32 city, county and state governments.
The grant funding announced will reduce the number of lead-poisoned children and protect families by targeting health hazards in over 6,000 low-income homes with significant lead and/or other home health and safety hazards.
Earlier this week in Baltimore, Maryland, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the funding during a news conference with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as part of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Back to School event, promoting healthier housing to improve school outcomes.
The City of Baltimore is one of the grantees.
HUD's Lead Hazard Control grant programs has a demonstrated history of success, filling critical needs in urban communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents.
"Every family deserves to live in a safe and healthy home where they can see their children thrive and excel," said Castro. "Communities will use these grants to help eliminate home-related hazards in neighborhoods across the country. A healthy home is vital to the American Dream."
"Millions of families and children are seeing their hope for the future threatened by poor healthsimply because of where they live," noted Matthew Ammon, Director of HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. "While we've made tremendous progress reducing lead-based paint hazards in our older housing stock, far too many children continue to be exposed to potentially dangerous lead and other health hazards in the home."
Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the economy directly, through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly through lost wages and increased school days missed.
Housing improvements help prevent injuries and illnesses, reduce associated health care and social services costs, reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work, and reduce stress, all which help to improve the quality of life.
HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards from lower income homes; stimulate private sector investment in lead hazard control; support cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards; and educate the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.
The funding announced here directs critical funds to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in thousands of privately-owned, low-income housing units. HUD is also providing the grantees over $8.8 million in Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help communities mitigate multiple health hazards in high risk housing simultaneously, in conjunction with their lead hazard control activities.