Lead poisoning hazards will be remediated in about 100 county homes thanks to a $1.33 million federal grant.
The grant awarded to Lancaster city and county will be used for lead-based paint hazards in low-income homes.
“We’re very excited about it, because we’re hoping to address rentals. In the past we’ve only done owner-occupied” housing, using funding from other grants, she said Wednesday.
And the city had unsuccessfully applied twice before to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Control program.
“Lead hazards have plagued our nation's children for decades, causing irreversible physical, emotional and mental side effects and limiting the futures of so many among our next generation,” HUD Secretary Julian Castro said in a news release announcing the grant.
U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., said the grant will help Lancaster ensure the community is safe from lead poisoning.
Exposure to lead-based paints used in houses built before 1978 is the key source of lead poisoning here.
Children in Lancaster County under the age of seven had elevated lead levels in 2014 that were more than three times the national average, according to the state Department of Health.
And in the city, 15 percent of kids below the age of two tested so far this year had elevated lead levels, according to Susan Eckert of the Lancaster Lead Coalition, a local partnership formed in 2010 to fight lead poisoning.
The city will partner with the Lancaster County Housing & Redevelopment Authority, the Partnership for Public Health in Lancaster County, SouthEast Lancaster Health Services and the Community Action Program of Lancaster County.
The grant was part of more than $52.6 million HUD awarded nationwide.