BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has award $2.5 million in grants to the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. to help “protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and from other home health and safety hazards,” HUD announced Friday.
The $2.5 million in grants are part of $98.3 million in funds awarded to 38 projects across the country, which aim to clean up lead paint and other hazards in 6,373 high-risk homes.
The funds will also be used to train workers in lead-safe work practices and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning, which can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood.
“Childhood lead poisoning is completely preventable, and that’s exactly what these funds are designed to do,” said HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones in a statement. “The communities receiving these grants are helping their children grow up brighter, safer and healthier.”
The R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. will be awarded $2.3 million in Lead Based Hazard Control grant funding and an additional $200,000 in Healthy Homes Initiative funding.
The organization plans to address lead hazards in 200 housing units in the Ocean State, providing safer homes for low- and very low-income families with children. Rhode Island Housing also will perform healthy homes assessments in 180 units.
Even though lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, a HUD release estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today.