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Authority has been working to remove lead paint from older units for some time, but the recently awarded funds will expedite the process. “We have been using money from our capital funds as we could, but this will allow us to focus directly on the paint removal.” She said the process is expensive since experts must be employed to perform the abatement.
Gunn oversees 130 apartments spread out over 11 sites in Lyons. A lot of this housing was built in the 1960s when lead-based paint was still in use. She said future work will involve unit exteriors since the Authority has completed interior abatements.
Although lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, HUD estimates that about 24 million older homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. While most public housing has already undergone abatement, there are still some properties where leadbased paint remains, and where hazards have developed. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage children’s kidneys and central nervous systems and can even be deadly.
“In order to be healthy, it’s important to have a healthy home,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Protecting families with young children from lead and other health hazards is an important part of HUD’s mission, and we don’t take it lightly. HUD is committed to President Biden’s directive to prioritize environmental justice and equity for disadvantaged communities.”