HUD Awards $28M to Clean Up Lead Hazards in Public Housing
HUD recently awarded $27.8 million to 38 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in 25 states to identify and reduce lead-based paint hazards in thousands of older public housing units. Provided through HUD’s Public Housing Capital Fund, these grants will be targeted to approximately 2,800 public housing units, most of which are currently occupied by families with young children.
Although lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, HUD estimates that about 24 million older homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. However, homes receiving rental assistance, including public housing, tend to have a lower prevalence of lead-based paint hazards compared to private housing. While most public housing has already undergone abatement, there are still some properties where lead-based paint remains and hazards have redeveloped.
Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to 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 can even be deadly.
In addition to the funding announced today, HUD will award a record $330 million later this year to clean up lead-based paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned low-income housing.