Rhode Island will receive $3.4 million dollars to reduce lead hazards in homes. It's the seventh round of funding in more than a decade aimed at hundreds of homes with lead contamination.
Rhode Island Housing will distribute the funds to organizations that help identify homes at the highest risk for lead. These apartments or houses built were before 1978, when a ban on lead paint went into effect. And Rhode Island has a high percentage of older apartment buildings compared to the rest of the nation.
Rhode Island Housing Executive Director Barbara Fields says U.S. Housing and Urban Development grants have fueled some progress addressing problems in that older housing stock.
“Since 1998, we’ve had six prior HUD grants to do this work, and through that we’ve helped reduce lead hazard in over 1,650 apartments and homes throughout the state.”
The new grant will be used to treat about 250 homes and apartments where lead paint is chipping and lead paint dust has settled into soil around the home. Fields says they’ll be working with community organizations to identify homes at the highest risk for lead paint contamination.
“We really are trying to reach out and look and see if we can help as many families as possible. Even those families who are owning their home and need to make home repairs. We would really like to work with them. These are fixable problems in the home but frequently families don’t have the resources they need.”
Ingesting lead in any amount- from tiny paint chips to dust in soil – can poison children and lead to cognitive problems.