Buffalo, N.Y. — U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,000,000 in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration funding and $400,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding to Erie County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to address lead hazards in 180 housing units providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children. The Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program will also perform healthy homes interventions in 75 units.
“Lead poisoning is an irreversible, preventable tragedy that robs many families and children of their future,” said Senator Schumer. “We must do everything we can to eliminate lead from our homes and this major federal grant will do just that, by injecting much-needed funds into lead remediation and prevention. These funds are an investment in the health, safety and future of communities in Erie County.”
“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,” said Senator Gillibrand. “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. Erie County will now have access to additional resources to help protect residents and prevent exposure to this dangerous substance.”
“The fight against lead in Erie County just got a big shot in the arm with the announcement of these grant funds and accompanying Healthy Homes funds, and I thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for securing these funds and providing this big boost. This announcement augments Erie County investments in public health and safety and allows us to reach more homes, making more families safer and more communities cleaner. Working with our partners, our efforts to eradicate lead across Erie County will expand more than ever before,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
Erie County will partner with the Belmont Housing Resources for WNY, Inc. and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to implement the project. HUD funded 15 projects nationwide totaling $46,577,427.50; Schumer and Gillibrand secured funding for projects in the Capital Region and Central New York in addition to Western New York.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lead is much more harmful to children than adults because it can affect children’s developing nerves and brains. Lead-based paint, still encasing homes’ walls, often erodes and settles on children’s toys on the floor, falling into the hands and mouths of children. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have long advocated for protecting New York children and families in the past by securing millions of dollars in federal funding to eradicate the toxic element from homes, reducing lead-poisoning cases. Lead poisoning can cause developmental difficulties, physical pain, and neurological damage.
The purpose of the LHRD program is to identify and control lead based paint hazards in programs are to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned housing for rental or owner-occupants. These grants are used for lead evaluation, lead hazard control activities, lead safe construction and maintenance work practices.