The City of Philadelphia received more than $3.7 million in grants and funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to remediate 285 homes that have been identified to have lead hazards. Earmarked to support low-income families, the funding will strengthen the Philadelphia Public Health Department’s work to prevent lead poisoning in children who live in aging homes.
“Every Philadelphian has the right to live in a safe, healthy environment. But too often in older, urban communities, there are hazards in the home that threaten the safety and well-being of children and families,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The Department of Public Health and its Environmental Health Services Unit have been committed to reducing the risk of childhood lead poisoning and increasing the number of lead-safe homes in low-income neighborhoods. I want to thank them for their great work and thank HUD for these very welcomed resources.”
Health Commissioner Dr. James Buehler said, “Home should be a place where people are safe and can be healthy, especially children. Too many of our older homes have lead paint that can chip or flake and be ingested by small children. This grant will allow us to help hundreds of families protect themselves and, when needed, make repairs that will reduce the risk lead exposure as well other indoor health hazards.”
Capitalizing on the City’s experience in this work, HUD will provide $3.39 million in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant funds and $325,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental Funding.
“A healthy home lays the foundation for our stability, our happiness and our future success,” said Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic Region. “This funding will support the remediation of lead-based paint hazards from the homes of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable residents while educating them on ways to reduce threats to their health and safety.”
HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program has a long history of success, filling critical needs in communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing built before 1940 that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents.
The Department of Public Health’s Lead and Healthy Homes Program addresses homes built before 1978, helping to prevent lead poisoning and eliminate asthma triggers, to reduce associated health care and social services costs and to reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work.