Some Houston Homes Will Be Made Lead Safe Thanks To A New Grant

Kelli Wiese
October 21, 2019 - 2:51 pm
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The $9.7 million dollar grant comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Houston Health department says the program will focus on the Near Northside and Fifth Ward. Approximately 83% of the homes there were built before the ban on lead-based paint in 1978. At least 6 % of the children in these areas had elevated blood lead levels. The Houston Health department says lead poisoning in children can result in learning disabilities, behavioral problems, mental retardation, speech and language handicaps and brain damage. Extremely high blood lead levels can trigger seizures, coma or even death.

Every year about 800 Houston children under the age of 6 are confirmed with elevated blood lead levels. The health department's existing Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control program has performed lead reduction activities in 3,160 homes since 1996.

The Houston Health department's lead-hazard reduction activities include removal and replacement of contaminated housing components, stabilizing or enclosing painted surfaces and temporarily relocating families during the renovation process to ensure that children are not further lead poisoned. The relocation, provided at no cost to families, takes into consideration each household's school, employment and transportation needs.

To apply for free lead-hazard reduction activities for a Houston home, or to learn about becoming a block captain, you call 832-393-5141.