Wolf Administration Encourages Counties, Local Governments to Apply for Federal Lead Remediation Grants

Lead HazardsImage by Rebecca Matthews

HARRISBURG, PA — The departments of Human Services (DHS) and Health (DOH) are encouraging county and local governments to apply for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Lead Hazard Remediation grant. This grant program seeks to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible housing.

“We now know the dangers of lead poisoning, but too many children across Pennsylvania are growing up in homes that still contain lead paint. This is incredibly dangerous, as lead poisoning can lead to physical and behavioral health problems across someone’s lifetime,” said Acting DHS Secretary Meg Snead. “This grant funding presents a great opportunity to help families remove toxic lead paint from their homes. I urge counties and local governments to apply for this funding.”

“These grants offer local leaders the opportunity to make a real difference in protecting the health and safety of young children in their community,” said Acting DOH Secretary Alison Beam. “It is important to take proactive steps like this to reduce the risk of lead exposure and avoid life-long health complications.”

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Every dollar spent in lead paint hazard remediation can result in a return of up to $221 in societal costs. HUD’s Lead Hazard Remediation grant offers one to five million dollars per grant recipient. Applications for the Lead Hazard Remediation grant can be found here and are due by July 12.

Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation for the percentage of housing units identified as having been built before 1950, when lead-based paint use was most prevalent. In Pennsylvania, lead-based paint hazards in children’s homes are the main source of lead poisoning, and nearly 9,000 children are poisoned every year. African American and Hispanic children are five and two times more likely to be poisoned than white children, respectively, because they are more likely to live in older properties with deteriorated lead-based paint. Exposure to lead can cause serious damage to a child’s brain and nervous system and lead to behavioral challenges and intellectual disabilities.

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More information on the grant can be found here.

DOH’s lead poisoning screening surveillance report can be found here, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s list of Certified Lead Abatement Companies can be found here.

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