Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

HUD Funds Lead-Abatement Projects in WNY [Buffalo Business First]

Sep 30, 2014 | Posted in News

Buffalo Business First - September 30, 2014:

A local initiative aimed at reducing lead in residential housing received a $3.4 million federal boost this week from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The grant, from HUD’s Office of Health Homes and Lead Hazard Control program, will be used to identify and eliminate lead hazards in 180 housing units throughout Erie County.

Erie County will work with the state Department of Health to reach residents in potentially affected homes by collaborating with three local nonprofits: Jericho Road Community Health Center, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Belmont Housing Resources Inc.

Across the Upstate New York region, nearly $13.8 million was awarded through the HUD program to help municipalities complete lead remediation and prevention programs and reduce the possibility of lead poisoning.

The Community Foundation addresses lead contamination through its Buffalo Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, which focuses on reducing energy bills and eliminating health and safety hazards in older homes. Since its launch in 2009, the program has provided services to make 286 homes lead-safe.

Belmont Housing is an advocate for affordable housing, providing financial assistance to low-income residents and housing education for homeowners; while Jericho Road promotes lead poisoning prevention through its Holistic Homes project.

The city of Buffalo has among the highest prevalance of lead contamination in homes, primarily in older properties. Lead-based paint was commonly used prior to 1978. According to the foundation, one third of all lead poisoning cases reported in the state outside of New York City are located in Buffalo, while thousands of cases have been reported in Erie County.

Funds will be used to evaluate homes for lead paint and lead hazards in order to assess and mitigate health and safety hazards in those homes, and provide training and outreach. The federal funding includes $400,000 to perform health homes assessments in up to 100 housing units, plus $3 million for remediation in 180 units.

To view this story in Buffalo Business First, click here.

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