September 29, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand, Higgins Announce Erie County Set To Receive $3.4 Million To Remove Lead From Homes – Lead Is A Serious Health Hazard & These Fed Funds Will Help Decrease Exposure

Erie County Will Use Funds to Address Lead Hazards in 180 Housing Units; Will Also Be Used To Perform Assessments on 90-100 Housing Units

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Program (OHHLHC) has awarded Erie County $3,000,000  in federal funding to address lead hazards in 180 housing units. Erie County will also receive an additional $400,000 in healthy homes funding to perform healthy homes assessments in 90-100 of these housing units. Upstate New York counties and municipalities are receiving a total of $13,760,570. Erie County will collaborate with the Jericho Road Community Center, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Belmont Housing Resources, Inc., and New York State Department of Health to address lead issues and conduct their assessments.

“Lead poisoning is a 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.”

“Ensuring that our homes are safe and healthy for our children should be a priority for everyone," said Senator Gillibrand. “Lead-based paint is known to cause severe mental and physical health problems and it is important to remove those hazards from our homes so we can keep our families safe. I am pleased Erie County will get this funding that will allow them to access critical resources that protect residents from exposure to dangerous lead-based paint.”

“Western New York’s older housing stock adds to our community’s character but also puts local children and families at higher risk of lead poisoning,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “This funding will go a long way to continued efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of lead and make improvements that minimize the risk to families.” 

“Protecting children and families from lead and its poisonous effects is essential to creating a healthier community, and this grant will allow Erie County to assess and remediate many more homes with lead concerns,” said Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County Executive. “I want to thank our partners in government for their commitment to this program and for their concern about residents’ health. Together we are building a better, safer community to live, work, and play in.”

The OHHLHC Program aims to assist states and local governments in creating wide-ranging programs to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately-owned housing. 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 Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) oversees seven grant programs under the Program Management and Assurance Division. The OHHLHC provides funds to state and local governments to develop cost-effective ways to reduce lead-based paint hazards. In addition, the office enforces HUD's lead-based paint regulations, provides public outreach and technical assistance, and conducts technical studies to help protect children and their families from health and safety hazards in the home.