The City of Portland has been awarded more than $3,000,000 in federal funding to address lead hazards in 195 housing units, providing safer homes for low-income families with children.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced more than $127 million in grants to 48 state and local government agencies, including the City of Portland, in a continuous effort to keep families and their children safe from lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards. The grants direct critical funds to communities to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in privately-owned, low-income housing units.
Dust from paint in the home is the most common way children are exposed to lead. The Portland Housing Bureau’s Lead Hazard Control Program aims to reduce the number of cases of children with elevated blood lead levels by providing no-cost lead testing and remediation in homes occupied by low and moderate-income families with young children.
“A safe, healthy home is our best chance for a strong start in life,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau. “Our program in Portland has helped more than 1,800 families who would not have otherwise had the resources to protect their children from lead hazards in their home. We are thankful to HUD for continuing to support our local efforts to ensure safe, healthy homes for Portland families.”
To date, more than 3,486 children under the age of six – in more than 1,800 Portland homes – have been protected from the harmful, long-term effects of lead paint and dust thanks to federal funding support for Portland’s Lead Hazard Control Program.
Beyond providing no-cost lead hazard remediation to renters and owners, the program also seeks to educate property owners and tenants about how to identify lead hazards, and how to clean and maintain their home to minimize harmful exposure to young children.
As part of the award, Portland will also receive $400,000 in Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help mitigate multiple health hazards in high-risk housing simultaneously, in conjunction with their lead hazard control activities. 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 help to improve quality of life.
“I applaud Secretary Carson’s recognition of the inexorable link between health and housing in making lead paint hazard removal a top priority,” said Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager. “This is a substantial commitment to local communities and will have a big impact in Portland, where we have lot of older homes and children in potential danger of exposure to lead paint.”