Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Ted Wymyslo accepts a check for $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funds will be used by ODH and its partners to identify and properly remediate lead hazards in homes in 36 counties.
Housing built before 1950 poses the greatest lead hazard to young children. Out of the estimated 906,000 children in Ohio between 6 months and 6 years of age, 36 percent live in housing built prior to 1950. If lead is identified in a home, the only way to ensure children are not exposed is for the family to move or have the lead professionally controlled or abated.
The project targets 30 Appalachian counties and six counties in Northwest Ohio. Work has already begun to qualify families whose properties are under a lead hazard control order. The project will also pair the grant dollars with more than $300,000 dedicated by community action agencies to make homes lead-safe, weatherized and energy efficient.
In addition to the federal award, the Ohio Department of Development provided $200,000 and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency committed $100,000 for the project.
Since the inception of the lead poisoning prevention program, ODH has had great success reducing lead poisoning. Between 1999 and 2009, because of outreach, education and prevention efforts, Ohio witnessed a 73 percent decline in childhood lead poisoning cases.
Families interested in applying for the project can contact the ODH Healthy Homes Program by calling 1-877-LEAD-SAFE.
With remarks by:
Ted Wymyslo, M.D., Director, Ohio Department of Health
Phil Cole, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies
Ron Rees, Executive Director, Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development
Neil McCabe, President/CEO, Wood Sandusky Ottawa and Seneca Community Action Commission
Thomas Leech, Columbus Field Office Director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development