HUD Offers Millions in Grants to Remove Lead-Based Paint in Lower-Income Homes

By Susan Jones | September 3, 2010 | 10:37 AM EDT

( - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is making $110 million in grants available to help eliminate lead-based paint from lower-income homes to protect young children from lead poisoning.
The grants to states and local governments are being offered through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Programs.
“These grants are critical for states, counties and cities who are on the front lines of protecting our children from dangerous lead hazards,” said Jon Gant, who directs HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
“While we have made remarkable progress toward eliminating lead poisoning in children nationwide, now is the time to focus on reaching the finish line. We look forward to communities applying for these grants so that they can help make older housing safer and healthier for children.”
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, approximately 250,000 U.S. children aged 1-5 years have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.
Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978, but all houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. It is only when the paint deteriorates—or homes are renovated—that problems arise.

The CDC estimates that approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated lead paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children.
According to a paint industry trade group, government studies show that children become lead-poisoned primarily by hand-to-mouth ingestion of lead dust, and only rarely through eating lead-based paint chips.
HUD says its mission is to “create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all."