ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Last Friday, the City of Roanoke was awarded a $3.7 million grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to protect families from lead-based paint and other home health hazards. This funding comes from a nationwide grant of nearly $165 million awarded to 44 states.
“Lead Safe Roanoke has been around for almost 15 years. We’re actually finishing up our fifth round of funding currently and then we’re getting ready and just received $3.7 million to do a sixth round of funding for Lead Safe Roanoke property’s.”Katie Kennedy – Program Manager – Lead Safe Roanoke
The HUD program focused on this issue is the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction (LBPHR) Grant Program.
“What we do is look for families who have children that maybe are in an unsafe situation and so this is a grant that can help.”Marla Robertson – Health Education – Lead Safe Roanoke
Through this funding, 140 homes will be going through renovations to reduce lead-based paint and other potential health hazards.
“When we come to a house we often that there are some other needs that the home may have for instance the porch on the house behind me needed some restructuring and resecuring so that it wouldn’t collapse.”Katie Kennedy – Program Manager – Lead Safe Roanoke
The project will be conducted over the next three-and-a-half years, with around one week dedicated to each house.
“We got a lot of work to do. Roanoke’s housing stock is definitely an older housing stock. Lead-based paint was banned in ’78 so that means that – I think estimate that over 85% of the homes built in Roanoke City were built pre 1978 meaning 85% of the homes in Roanoke could have lead-based paint in them.”Katie Kennedy – Program Manager – Lead Safe Roanoke
On average, each Lead-Free renovation project cost between $12,000 and $14,000.
Some projects take a week or a little longer to complete and range from simple fixes to a door frame or a complete lead paint reduction from top to bottom, replacing windows and doors.
The most problematic areas are windows and doorways where constant use or traffic wears on painted surfaces, creating paint chips or very light dust.
“If you think you have lead-based paint in your house, it looks like alligator scales. If you see some peeling chipping paint in your house, give us a call. We’re happy to walk you through the process of applying to our program. If you don’t qualify for our program, we can give you some guidance on what you can do and how you can keep your family safe.”Katie Kennedy – Program Manager – Lead Safe Roanoke
Children are more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults.
“Children age 5 and under are more susceptible to lead poisoning because their bodies don’t see lead as a neurotoxin, they see it as a nutrient like iron or calcium and so their bodies just absorb everything.”Marla Robertson – Health Education – Lead Safe Roanoke
To find out if you qualify for this program, call Lead-Safe at (540) 853-5682 or visit their website by clicking here.
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