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Lee Jones
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FOR RELEASE
Thursday
May 23, 2013

HUD AWARDS $3 MILLION TO CITY OF PORTLAND TO ADDRESS LEAD HAZARDS IN 300 HOMES
Funding to make low-income housing safer and healthier, especially for children

PORTLAND – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that the City of Portland is one of 38 local projects nationwide to win a grant to protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and from other home health and safety hazards.

The City of Portland will use its $3 million HUD Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant to address lead hazards in 300 homes occupied by low-income families with children. The effort is a partnership with Multnomah County, the Healthy Homes Coalition of Multnomah County, the Community Energy Project, the Community Alliance of Tenants, the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and Growing Gardens. This is the sixth Lead Hazard Control grant the City has received from HUD. The first was awarded in 1998 and, since then, the City has addressed hazards in just under 1,600 homes.

Today's awards are a part of $98.3 million in funds awarded to 38 projects across the country to clean up lead paint hazards and other health hazards in 6,373 high-risk homes, train workers in lead-safe work practices, 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.

"Childhood lead poisoning is completely preventable and that's exactly what these funds are designed to do," said HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones. "Portland and the other communities receiving these grants are helping their children grow up brighter, safer and healthier."

"Providing healthy and safe homes for families and children is a top priority for HUD," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "These additional resources enable HUD and this collaboration to continue fulfilling our commitment to protecting Portland's children from the hazards that can be caused by deteriorated lead paint, and mold that follows moisture intruding into the home."

These grant programs of HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promote local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead hazards from lower income homes; stimulate private sector investment in lead hazard control; and educate 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. HUD is also providing over $4.4 million to help communities transform their lead hazard control programs to address multiple housing-related hazards.

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