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Long Beach among five California benefactors of HUD safety grants

March 30th, 2012 · No Comments · News

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $12.7 million in grants to five local projects in California 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 grant funding announced March 23 will 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.
“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.”
“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 Contr ol. “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.”
The City of Long Beach will be awarded $2,299,996 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant program funding and $180,000 in healthy homes supplemental funding for the identification and reduction of healthy home hazards in 185 housing units providing safer homes for 580 families. The City will partner with Neighborhood Services, the Multi-Family Housing Inspection Program, and local non-profits such as the Cambodian American Association.
“This is great news for the City of Long Beach and its residents,” said Nelson Kerr, bureau manager of Environmental Health for the City of Long Beach’s Department of Health and Human Services. “It is well established that housing conditions directly impact the health of the occupants, especially young children. This generous award will enable the Health Department to continue its work eliminating lead hazards in low-income housing units throughout the city. In addition to the public-health benefits, the grant will also improve neighborhoods, provide local jobs and train workers in lead safe work practices. Since 2009, the Health Department’s Lead Hazard Reduction Program has eliminated lead hazards in over 180 units throughout the City. This new grant will address another 180 lead contaminated units in low-income areas of the city. The Health Department is proud to continue this important work in eliminating this major public health hazard.”
The State of California Department of Community Services and Development will be awarded $2,300,000 in Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control grant program funding for the identification and reduction of lead hazards in 275 housing units, partnering with several community-based organizations, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs, and the local housing departments’ rehabilitation programs.
The City of Richmond will be awarded $2,300,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant program funding and $180,000 in healthy homes supplemental funding for the identification and reduction of healthy homes hazards in 200 housing units providing safer homes for families/children. The City of Richmond will partner with Brookside Community Health Center, Contra Costa Health Services Department, the City of San Pablo and County Housing Authority and the Neighborhood Preservation Program.
The San Diego Housing Commission will be awarded $2,300,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant program funding and $180,000 in healthy homes supplemental funding for the identification and reduction of healthy homes hazards in 165 housing units providing safer homes for families/children. The San Diego Housing Commission will partner with the Environmental Health Coalition, County of San Diego Health Department, City of San Diego Lead Safety & Healthy Housing Program, SDHC Work Force and Economic Development, La Maestra Health Center, Richard Health and Associates, Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee, and Campesinos Unidos.
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, stimulate private-sector investment in lead hazard control and educate the public about the dangers of lead-based paint.
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 result in 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.

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