FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 8, 2007
Schumer Announces Over $1.1 Million For Lead Poisoning Control Efforts In Buffalo
Federal Funds Awarded As Part Of A HUD Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $1,112,880 in funding to the Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning as a Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration (LHRD) Grant. LHRD funds will be used by the Office of Strategic Planning to assist homeowners in rehabilitating their homes to make them lead-free and for education and outreach.
“This is great news for Buffalo’s ongoing effort to remove lead hazards from area homes.” Schumer said. “Lead poisoning could rob our children of their future. We have to fight this problem with everything we have, and this funding is really going to make a big difference in preventing more kids from getting lead poisoning.” Federal funds will be used by the Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning to provide 90 owner-occupants in the City of Buffalo with support to rehabilitate their homes in order to reduce lead based paint hazards. Each qualified applicant will receive up to $25,000 for housing rehabilitation and $10,000 in interim lead control assistance. In addition, the City will work with faith-based and community-based organizations to provide education and outreach concerning the effects of lead paint on children, advising the public of the potential damage to children’s health and development.
Lead poisoning can occur when the opening and shutting of lead-painted doors and windows creates dust or paint chips off deteriorated windowsills and walls. Young children often ingest the dust and chips by crawling or playing in it and then putting their fingers in their mouths. Abatement can happen by replacing windows or window parts and repainting old areas. For children 6 years of age and younger, lead levels of 10 micrograms or more in a deciliter of blood can harm their ability to learn, experts say. A microgram is one millionth of a gram. A deciliter is about half a cup of liquid. At levels higher than 10 micrograms per deciliter, lead in children can damage kidneys, bone marrow and other body systems.
The purpose of the LHRD program is to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible low-income privately owned housing. Funds will be used to make the housing lead-safe, that is, free of lead-based paint hazards – rather than complete lead-based paint abatement. These grants are used for lead evaluation, lead hazard control activities, lead-safe construction and maintenance work practices. Funds are also used to promote job training and employment for local residents and businesses in these activities. Along with integrating lead-safe work practices into housing maintenance, repair, weatherization, minor rehabilitation and other programs that will continue after the grant period ends.