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Onondaga County to use federal grants to address lead hazards in 195 housing units

By Eric Reinhardt


Onondaga County’s community-development office will use $3.4 million in federal funding to solve lead hazards in 195 housing units.

The lead hazards could be lead-based paints, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) said in a news release announcing the funding.

The housing units provide “safer” homes for low and very low-income families with children, Onondaga County contended.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the grant funding, Onondaga County said.

The funding includes $3,000,000 from the lead-hazard reduction demonstration (LHRD) grant program and $400,000 in healthy homes supplemental funding.

The work will also involve healthy-homes “interventions” in 100 of the 195 housing units.

The community-development office will work with the Onondaga County Health Department’s lead poisoning control program, Child Care Solutions of CNY, and Southern Hills Preservation Corporation in LaFayette on this effort.

The nonprofit Southern Hills Preservation Corporation works to “promote affordable housing and community revitalization through development, financing, advocacy, counseling and education,” according to its website.

“We are pleased to receive these grants from HUD to continue our efforts addressing lead in homes,” Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said in the release. “Our Office of Community Development has been recognized by HUD as operating one of the best lead-reduction programs in the country and being selected as one of only fifteen recipients in the country is great news. Congratulations to our dedicated community-development team and thank you to HUD for awarding our exceptional efforts.”

HUD funded 15 projects nationwide totaling more than $46.5 million.

“This federal funding through HUD would help support the county’s efforts in identifying households that have significant lead hazards and help expand their ability to collectively remove lead-based paints and other health hazards,” Gillibrand said in her office’s release. “Lead poisoning causes severe mental and physical health problems and it is important to remove those hazards from our homes so we can keep our families safe. Onondaga County will now have access to additional resources to help protect residents and prevent exposure to this dangerous substance.”

The LHRD program’s purpose is to “identify and control” lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned housing for rental or owner-occupants.

Recipients will use these grants for lead evaluation; lead-hazard control activities; and “lead safe construction and maintenance” work practices.

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