(206) 220-5356 (work)
(804) 363-7018 (cell)
March 28, 2012
SPOKANE & WASHINGTON STATE WIN TOTAL OF $4.8 MILLION IN HUD LEAD HAZARDA REDUCTION FUNDS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM LEAD & OTHER HOME HAZARDS
Will Address Hazards in Some 320 Homes in Thurston County, Walla Walla & Spokane
SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $2,400,000 million to the City of Spokane and $2,480,000 to the Washington State Department of Commerce to conduct a wide range of activities intended to protect children and families from potentially dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.
The awards were part of almost $111 million in funds competitively awarded to 42 organizations across the country to clean up lead and other health hazards in nearly 6,000 high-risk homes, train workers in lead safety methods, 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.
The Washington Department of Commerce will use awards of $2.3 million Lead Based Paint Hazard Control funds and $180,000 in Healthy Home supplemental funding to identify and remove lead and healthy homes hazards in 180 housing units in partnership with the City of Spokane, Thurston County Housing Authority of Thurston County and Blue Mountain Action Council in Walla Walla. This is the third HUD lead hazard grant the Department of Commerce has won. It has abated 432 homes under the two earlier grants.
The City of Spokane will use its $2.4 million Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program funds to address lead hazard in 140 housing units, providing lead-safe homes for low-come families and children in partnership with CARE Committee, Lead Safe Spokane and local Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. This also is the third HUD lead hazard grant the City has won. It has abated 443 homes under the two earlier grants.
"Protecting the health and well-being of children is a top priority for HUD. We know that housing conditions directly affect the health of its residents," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "These grants will help communities around the nation to protect families from lead exposure and other significant health and safety hazards."
"Healthy homes make for healthy families," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride, "and these funds will allow the Department of Commerce and the City of Spokane to continue their considerable efforts to "cure" older homes in their housing inventories of lead and related hazards."
"With these grant awards, HUD makes it clear that providing healthy and safe homes for families and children is a priority," said Jon Gant, Director of HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. "It's simple: you can't be healthy if your home is sick. HUD is committed to protecting children from these hazards, as part of our efforts to help make the nation's housing healthy and sustainable."
Through these grant programs, HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead hazards from lower income homes; stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control; and educates the public about the dangers of lead-based paint.
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 $5.3 million to help communities transform their lead hazard control programs to address multiple housing-related hazards.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews or on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD.