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Mayor Horrigan Urges Akron Homeowners To Apply ForGrant Funds To Reduce Lead-Based Hazards In Their

Akron, Ohio, August 18, 2017- The City of Akron is looking for qualified residents to apply for its Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program (LHRDGP). Owner-occupied properties may qualify for up to $14,000 in lead hazard reduction grant funds. "The goal of this program is to significantly reduce childhood lead exposure in Akron," Mayor Dan Horrigan said. "Lead poisoning is preventable, and we are committed to helping keep every family in a healthy, safe environment by reducing the risk of lead poisoning in older Akron homes by providing these grants to eligible homeowners." Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, however HUD estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Approximately 85% of Akron homes were built before 1978. Unfortunately, nearly one in nine children living in the Akron area has been exposed to lead-based paint. Major sources of lead exposure among U.S. children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. For children under age 6, lead exposure can be dangerous to their

rapidly developing bodies and brains, leading to behavioral issues, developmental delays and other health problems, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions, and even death. Nationwide, a quarter of a million children have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health. "The City of Akron is addressing lead problems in older residences through federal grant funding geared to help eliminate lead based paint in homes," John Valle, Director of Neighborhood Assistance said. "We currently have more than a million dollars available to assist qualified homeowners. We just need residents to apply for the grants, and use the grant money to eliminate lead hazards in their homes."

Owner-occupied homes can qualify for up to $14,000 in funding. Landlords will be provided with a matching grant to rehabilitate rental units (75% City investment, 25% property owner match). Additional grant funding may also be available. Qualifications for a LHRDGP grant include: ■ A child under the age of six lives or regularly spends time at the home. Grandparents, child care professionals or others who care for a child in their home at least 60+ hours/year (documented) may qualify. ■ The home (no more than four units) is located in Akron. Property owners located in service areas of Summit County may also be eligible for up to $10,000 in grant funds. ■ The home must contain lead paint hazards (e.g.: windows, siding, doors, porches, soil). All lead paint issues will be addressed as part of the work performed. ■ Household income cannot exceed income guidelines. ■ Additional qualifications may apply, as detailed in the application. Income guidelines, detailed information, and applications are available here. To talk to a City employee about whether you qualify for a grant to remove lead paint from your property or to learn more about ways to prevent childhood lead poisoning, please contact the Akron Lead-Based Paint Programs Office at 330-375-2050.

The Reporter Newspaper
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