In a continuous effort to keep families and their children safe from lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the city of Houston $3 million. The HUD funding is part of $127 million in total provided to 48 state and local government agencies (see chart below).
The City of Houston received $2,600,000 in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant funds and $400,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. The City of Houston will use the funding to address lead hazards in 200 housing units providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children. The City will also collaborate with Baylor School of Medicine, the Bonner Foundation Program at the University of Houston, BUILDing Scholars program, Rice University and the Texas Healthy Home Training Center.
Nationwide, the grant funding announced 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. HUD’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant programs have a proven history of success, filling critical needs in communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents.
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.”
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.