WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today announced $4.1 million in federal funding to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in Baltimore City housing units. The funding, awarded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will allow the City to address lead hazards in 250 housing units, providing safer homes for low-income families. Baltimore City will also use the funding to perform healthy homes assessments to identify lead and other housing hazards.
“There is no safe level of lead exposure, so identifying and removing any trace of it in our homes is a matter of public health,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “These funds will go a long way toward ensuring that we meet our first and most important obligation: keeping Maryland families safe. I’ll keep fighting hard for the resources all our communities need to eliminate lead from their homes, whether in their paint or in their water.”
“No family should have to worry about their children being poisoned by the water they drink or the paint where they live – not in Maryland or anywhere else in our country. With this funding, we are significantly reducing the risk to our communities and improving the standard of living for Baltimore residents,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I will keep fighting to ensure continued federal investment in Maryland’s safety and success.”
To carry out these efforts, Baltimore City will work with the Baltimore City Housing Department, Park Heights Renaissance, Rose Street Community Center, Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., and Druid Heights Community Development Corporation. The City received $3.5 million from HUD’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program, which aims to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in privately owned housing for rental or owner-occupants. Additionally, the City received $600,000 from the Healthy Homes Supplemental program, which addresses housing-related health and safety hazards that contribute to diseases and injuries in a comprehensive way.
Earlier this year, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen wrote a letter supporting full funding for the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. Additionally, the Senators have written to HUD Secretary Ben Carson urging the Department to implement recommendations recently released by the Government Accountability Office to better protect families and children living in federally assisted housing from the consequences of lead poisoning.