City will receive funds for lead paint projects

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding more than $118 million in grants to local projects to conduct a wide range of activities that include eliminating lead hazards in more than 9,000 homes, training workers in lead safety methods and increasing public awareness about childhood lead poisoning.

Lead is a known toxin that can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood and other materials in the home can trigger allergic responses and asthma.

The city of Lynn will be awarded $2 million in Lead-based Paint Hazard-Control funds to establish a comprehensive lead-paint abatement program that will provide safe and affordable housing while ensuring that low-income families no longer have to choose between a lead-safe environment for their children and housing they can afford.

Mayor Edward J. “Chip” Clancy Jr. thanked U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney for his help in securing the much-needed funding for the city.

“As we all know, Lynn has an aging housing stock that still contains a significant number of lead paint units. This program will create additional safe housing for Lynn families with young children,” said Clancy, who also praised the Office of Economic and Community Development (OECD) and the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) for collaborating on the successful grant application.

Lynn continues to be ranked among Massachusetts’ municipalities at highest risk for childhood lead poisoning by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Among the criteria used to determine risk are the number of Lynn children identified as having elevated blood lead levels each year, the age of the existing housing stock, and other socio-economic factors including the percentage of low-income families.

The proposed program will provide lead paint and soil abatement in 125 units, blood lead screening, economic and training opportunities for low and moderate income individuals and businesses and will provide primary prevention services in the form of outreach and education to Lynn’s most vulnerable populations.

The grant award for $2 million, to be spent over a three-year period, will be administered by LHAND.

This funding, combined with other local, state, and federal resources in the amount of $752,119, will strengthen the foundation of existing efforts and provide the impetus and resources needed to begin a sustainable, community-wide effort to combat the effects of childhood lead poisoning.

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