U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $2,999,754.87 in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration (LHRD) funding for the City of Schenectady. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address lead hazards in 218 housing units, providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children.
“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 Schenectady, New York.”
“This federal funding will 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. The City of Schenectady will now have access to additional resources to help protect residents and prevent exposure to this dangerous substance.”
“This is great news for the City of Schenectady and our ongoing efforts to keep our children and families safe from lead contamination. I want to thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for helping us secure this important federal funding,” said Gary McCarthy, Mayor, City of Schenectady.
The City of Schenectady will partner with Schenectady County to address lead hazards in close to 218 housing units. In 2016, Schumer and Gillibrand announced HUD funds for 15 projects nationwide totaling $46,577,427.50. Schumer and Gillibrand secured funding for projects in the Capital Region, Central New York, and Western New York; mitigating health hazards in over 3100 low-income homes across the country.
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 the walls of many homes, often erodes and settles on children’s toys on the floor, eventually falling into the hands and mouths of children. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have long advocated for protecting New York’s children and families in the past by securing millions of dollars in federal funding to eradicate the toxic element from homes in order to reduce 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 eligible privately owned housing for rental or owner-occupants. These grants are used to assist municipalities in carrying out lead hazard control activities.