S.E. Williams | Contributor

Washington, D.C. – “HUD understands the close connection between health and housing,” said Matthew Ammon, Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Ammon’s statement was made concurrent with the agency’s announcement of as record $314 million award to 77 state and local government agencies. The funding is aimed at protecting children and families from lead-based paint and home health hazards. In addition, HUD is awarding more than $5 million to identify and address home health and safety hazards in six tribal communities.

“This year, HUD is awarding a record number of awards to jurisdictions to directly support their efforts to identify and clean up housing-based health hazards like lead and mold,” Ammon added.

The grants are provided to identify and clean up dangerous lead in low-income housing. Many of the grantees will work to clean up lead hazards in the Opportunity Zones created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which was designed to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities by offering significant capital gains tax relief to those who invest in these distressed areas.

The Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program grants include $30 million in HUD’s Healthy Homes Supplemental funding to help communities address housing-related health and safety hazards, in addition to lead-based paint hazards. Seven communities were awarded grants to help their ‘High Impact Neighborhood’ where they will conduct lead hazard control and healthy homes work intensively in a targeted neighborhood impacted by poor housing conditions.

In addition, HUD’s new tribal grants will help fill critical needs in communities where limited resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable tribal residents.

The funding will help mitigate health hazards in more than 14,700 low-income homes with significant lead and health hazards for which other resources are not available to address these needs.

Commenting on the grants HUD Secretary Ben Carson declared, “We are committed to improving the lives of all families, especially children, by creating safer and healthier homes. One of HUD’s priorities is protecting families from lead-based paint and other health hazards. These grants will help states, tribes, and local communities do precisely that.”

The following California communities will receive funding through this initiative:

County of Alameda

The County of Alameda will be awarded $3,000,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding and $600,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. The County will address lead hazards in 144 low income housing units, perform healthy homes assessments, and work with other medical and social service providers.

County of Fresno

The County of Fresno will be awarded $3,000,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program to address lead hazards in 108 low income housing units, perform healthy homes assessments in units, and work with other medical and social service providers.

City of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles will be awarded $5,000,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding and $600,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. The City will address lead hazards in 240 low income housing units, perform healthy homes assessments in 120 low income units, and work with other medical and social service providers.

City of Pomona

The City of Pomona will be awarded $4,000,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding and $600,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. The City will address lead hazards in 212 low income housing units, perform healthy homes assessments in 118 low income units, and work with other medical and social service providers.

No tribal communities in California were awarded funding under this initiative.