The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week awarded $3,300,000 to the Kenosha County Division of Health to support continuous efforts to keep families and their children safe from lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.
The grant funding will reduce the number of children with elevated blood lead levels, and protect nearly 7,600 families living in homes with significant lead and other home health and safety hazards.
“This is a critical grant for the health and safety of Kenosha County’s most vulnerable residents,” Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said. “We are very pleased to receive the HUD Lead Based Hazard Control grant, which has a proven history of success to address housing issues that impact the health of families.”
In Washington, D.C., Tuesday, HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced the new funding during an event that featured a panel discussion about the importance of public and private partnerships to the work of healthy homes. With HUD celebrating June’s National Healthy Homes Month, Carson said he wants to make lead paint hazard removal a top priority.
“Children perform better at school and in life if they live in a healthy home,” said Secretary Carson. “A healthy start at home translates to a successful life outside of the home. HUD is committed to working with local communities to eradicate lead paint poisoning to make sure our homes are safe and ensure positive outcomes for families and their kids.”
“Millions of families and children are seeing their hope for the future threatened by poor health simply because of where they live,” noted Jon L. Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “This round of funding includes awards to eight cities that are receiving grant awards for the first time. We are pleased the program is expanding into these previously unserved communities.”
Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These homes affect the economy directly through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly through lost wages and increased school days missed. 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 reduce stress—all which help to improve the quality of life.
HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards from lower-income homes; encourages private-sector investment in lead hazard control; supports cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards; and educates the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.
The funding announced this week directs critical funds to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in thousands of privately-owned, low-income housing units. As part of these awards, HUD is providing these Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grantees just over $14 million in Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help communities mitigate multiple health hazards in high-risk housing simultaneously, in conjunction with their lead hazard control activities.
For more information or, please call the Kenosha County Division of Health at (262) 605-6700, (800) 472-8008, or visit www.kenoshacounty.org. More information about household lead contamination is available at http://www.kenoshacounty.org/334/Lead.