The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an $8.1 million grant for Houston to help identify and clean up lead-based paint hazards in older low-income housing. Houston Public Radio’s Ed Mayberry reports.
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson made the announcement at the home of Frank & Esther Ramirez, whose house at Avenue R was recently cleared of lead-based paint hazards.
“We all know that lead poison has been linked to development disability, to kidney disabilities, to the central nerve disability, to anemic, convulsion, coma and even death.”
Brenda Reyes with Houston’s Department of Health and Human Services says at least 550 homes in the Houston area will benefit from the funding.
“The qualification is based on income of the family, having a child that has spent 60 hours in a year. The house needs to be pre-1978. You know, the grant also pay(s) for the relocation of the family, either with their own family, or to an apartment or to a hotel, depending on what we have available at that time.”
Frank Ramirez expressed his appreciation for the program, which has resulted in the cleaning of 2,500 Texas homes.
“The house turned out beautiful. We like it. My wife, on behalf of my wife and myself, we like the house very much. Very pretty, she’s very happy also, that the house came out nice.”
Lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, but HUD estimates about 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards. Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.