Gov. Wolf’s Lead-Free PA Initiative Advances with $2.5 Million in HUD Lead Abatement Funding

October 24, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvania received a $2.5 million federal Housing and Urban Development grant for targeted outreach and evaluation of lead in hundreds of homes in the state’s most high-need areas. The grant will be administered by the Department of Health’s Lead Hazard Control Program.

“We are focused on protecting Pennsylvania’s children from the long-term effects of lead poisoning,” Gov. Wolf said. “This grant will allow us to target outreach to homes with the highest need so we can mitigate lead hazards and reduce exposure for children and families.”

The Department of Health will work with eight vendors located in high-need areas to conduct outreach, identify housing in need of lead hazard control services and partner with certified lead professionals to identify and reduce lead hazards for families who meet HUD eligibility criteria.

The target areas were identified because they have greater numbers of older housing units, young children and low-income residents. Those areas include Blair, Cambria, Chester and York counties; Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Johnstown and certain ZIP codes in Philadelphia. Housing units selected to receive lead hazard control services will be addressed based on the greatest need. Households with children having an Elevated Blood Lead Level will be prioritized; households with children under age six will be second priority, and all other households will receive consideration based on funding availability.

The state, counties and local municipalities apply for the HUD grants independently. Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks counties; Harrisburg and Lancaster also received grants, totaling nearly $20 million.

Gov. Wolf announced his Lead-Free Pennsylvania initiative in August to focus on testing and abatement. Components of that announcement included the governor calling on the legislature to increase access to blood testing for children in alignment with federal guidelines, increasing local response efforts, and planning for training of more certified lead abatement professionals.

“My Lead-Free PA initiative will continue to focus multiple agencies’ efforts on how we can reduce lead poisoning and exposure, blood test all children, train more lead abatement certified professionals, and remove the hazard of lead from Pennsylvania’s aging housing stock,” Gov. Wolf said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named October 20-26 National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Gov. Wolf issued a proclamation for the state.

The departments of Health and Human Service have updated online resources for families to access information on lead testing, lead poisoning and lead remediation. That information is available at on.pa.gov/lead.

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