New 3-Million Dollar HUD Grant to Help Erie Region Get the Lead - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

New 3-Million Dollar HUD Grant to Help Erie Region Get the Lead Out

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New lead hazard grant from HUD to make older homes safer New lead hazard grant from HUD to make older homes safer

A new federal grant is on the way to the Erie region to help eliminate lead paint hazards for low-income families living in older homes.  The Erie Redevelopment Authority (ERA) and the City of Erie announced that they have been awarded 3-million dollars in a Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.   

It's the 5th grant of its kind for the Erie region in the last 12 years.  ERA is one of 48 agencies nationwide and just two in the state of Pennsylvania to get the lead hazard control grant this time around.  In its application, the ERA was able to demonstrate the dramatic need, not just in the city this time, but county-wide. Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Dave Deter said the award comes after the last grant funding ran out, but the need is clearly continuing. 
"There was a lot of demand for lead based paint hazard control, so we knew as the last grant was winding down that there were a number of people that we were unable to assist, we've been maintaining a waiting list of those folks, we receive calls on almost a daily basis from people inquiring about the program," Deter said. 

The grant is focused on pre-1978 homes, with priority given to very low-income families with children under the age of six. They are at the greatest risk for health, development and learning issues when levels of lead are elevated in their blood from eating lead paint chips, or just breathing the dust from old lead paint in their house or on their toys.

The funding will encourage more lead testing, and cleaning to control the health risks, but the best solution is being able to provide lead remediation for about 180 Erie County Homes, mostly in the city, to get the lead out. 

Applications to be included in the lead removal program will be granted based on the greatest need, which fits perfectly with the current push in the city of Erie, to save blighted homes.  "This was one of the first programs we utilized to fight blight and we put a lot of money into the neighborhoods with it," said Mayor Joe Sinnott.  "This along with the many other things that we're doing really will make a significant impact...as it has already."

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