Feds Boost Lead-Reduction Effort in Houses

May 27, 2009

Residents of thousands of homes may soon benefit from about $100 million to be spent on reducing lead and other health and safety threats. The funding, to be distributed to 53 projects in 20 states and the District of Columbia by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, was announced May 15, 2009.

The selected projects had been approved earlier, but no funding had been available until money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was folded into HUD's budget.

The money has been designated for four types of programs: identifying lead threats from paint in older homes, directly mitigating those threats, developing prototype demonstration projects addressing lead and other health and safety threats, and researching and developing techniques to make hazard mitigation methods more effective and affordable.

Tracking how well these new recipients spend their Recovery Act money is an important watchdog function of the media. So far, government statements about making Recovery Act spending transparent have rarely been fulfilled. Meanwhile, you can dig into the merits of each of these HUD-funded projects, each of which is receiving anywhere from $552,000 to $3,000,000, to see how well they spend the money.

A spreadsheet that highlights the recipients is here. However, there is no contact information. If you can't track down the right people within the listed local or state agency, contact Bill Nellis, 202-402-7686, with HUD's Lead Hazard Reduction/Healthy Homes program. Other staff are listed here.

Funding recipients are in:


    AZ (Phoenix, 2 projects)

  • CA (State, Fresno, Los Angeles, Long Beach (2 projects), Pomona, Riverside, San Francisco)

  • CT (East Hartford, New London, Norwich, Waterbury)

  • IL (Chicago, Moline)

  • IN (Elkhart Co., Gary, Marion Co., South Bend)

  • IA (Marshalltown, Polk Co., Sioux City)

  • MA (State, Lowell (2 projects), Malden, and the organization Self Help, Inc.)

  • MD (National Center for Healthy Housing in Columbia)

  • ME (Lewiston)

  • MO (Kansas City)

  • MT (Bozeman)

  • NY (Utica)

  • NC (Greenville)

  • OH (Mahoning Co.)

  • PA (State (2 projects), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh)

  • SC (Charleston)

  • TX (Galveston, Harris Co.)

  • VA (Roanoke)

  • WA (State, King Co., Spokane)

  • WI (State, Kenosha Co., Milwaukee, Rock Co.)

  • Washington, D.C.


More information on the HUD program is here.

When covering these projects, keep in mind that efforts in the courts and elsewhere to get the private sector to do this mitigation – particularly the companies that manufactured the lead-based paint – have largely been futile.


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