The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that is providing $27.8 million to 38 Public Housing Agencies across the country to reduce lead-based paint hazards in older public housing units.

Although lead-based paint was banned for use in homes in 1978, HUD currently estimates that there are approximately 24 million older homes that still have significant lead-based paint hazards. And while most public housing has already undergone abatement for lead, HUD states that there are still some properties where lead-based paint remains or hazards have redeveloped.

As such, HUD is continuing its work to remove lead-based paint from public housing. 

“We have no higher calling than to make certain the public housing that taxpayers support is healthy for our vulnerable families to live in,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a release. “As a doctor who treated many young children, I witnessed the close connection between health and housing. Today we make another critical investment in the futures of young children growing up in public housing.”

According to HUD, these grants will be targeted to approximately 2,800 public housing units, most of which are currently occupied by families with young children.

Beyond that, HUD also announced it will award a record $330 million later this year to clean up lead-based paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned low-income housing.

A total of 25 states and 38 housing authorities are listed as recipients of this first round of funding.

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