Washington, DC – October 6, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) announced that the City of Akron will receive $4 million in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to eliminate lead from homes in urban neighborhoods. The program will evaluate 345 homes for lead paint and lead hazards, eliminating lead hazards in 285 homes. Additionally, outreach and education will be used to engage community and faith-based organizations and provide training to 150 individuals in Lead Safe Work Practices. The City of Akron will partner with the Akron Department of Planning, East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp., Mahoning Valley Real Estate Investors Association LEAP Program, and Summit County.
“Our children and families must be able to live in non-hazardous homes. Eliminating dangerous hazards associated with lead paint is critical to ensuring their health and safety,” Rep. Sutton said.
Although lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates that about 24 million homes still had significant lead-based paint hazards in October 2008. Lead exposure 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 cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death.
“It is vitally important we continue this program so we can help people who really are innocent victims,” said Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic. “They were not responsible for putting lead in paint decades ago, but they pay the price; especially those in our urban areas. Congresswoman Betty Sutton has my sincere gratitude for her diligent work and helping make this investment happen.”
“I appreciate this news from Congresswoman Sutton, as this funding will help fulfill our mission to build better neighborhoods and create communities through housing and economic development opportunities,” said Grady Appleton, Executive Director of the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp. “This funding allows us to continue a program that has been very effective in the past to provide healthy homes in urban neighborhoods, specifically targeting homes where children under age 6 live. The work performed under this project will make for job retention and a better community.”
Contact: Maureen Shanahan at 202-225-3401 or maureen.shanahan (at) mail.house (dot) gov