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City of Grand Rapids receives $2.9 million to reduce childhood lead poisoning

posted Jul 21, 2016, 11:47 AM by Marie Cimochowicz   [ updated Jul 21, 2016, 11:48 AM ]

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today the City of Grand Rapids will receive $2.9 million to help reduce childhood lead poisoning by eliminating lead paint hazards in housing.

The HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is making the award through the 2016 Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program. The three-year grant will support the City’s Lead Hazard Control Program operated by the Community Development Department. The grant also provides Healthy Homes funding to concurrently address other home health and safety hazards. The City’s partners include the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, the Kent County Health Department, LINC Community Revitalization, Inc., and the Rental Property Owners Association.

2015 data provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services* revealed that the 49507 zip code had the most lead-poisoned children in the state,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “The majority of these cases are caused by deteriorating lead-based paint and lead dust in the home. We know that infants and toddlers are at highest risk, especially when they begin to crawl and come into contact with that dust. This grant will help Grand Rapids protect the health of our children at a critical developmental age.”

The grant funds will be used to:

  1. Increase the number of lead-safe homes in Grand Rapids by controlling lead-based paint in 150 housing units.

  2. Increase public awareness through outreach and education about lead hazards, blood testing for all children, and program assistance.

  3. Increase community capacity to deal with lead-based paint by providing training in safe cleaning, repair, and remodeling methods to residents, landlords, and contractors, and by providing business development services to start-ups founded by skilled low-income tradespeople.

The Lead Hazard Control Program will address lead-based paint hazards citywide in housing built before 1978 occupied by a low-income household with a child under age six with elevated blood lead levels. The City has also identified a target area with high numbers or rates of poisoned children. Eligible housing in this target area may be enrolled in the program whether or not a resident child has elevated blood lead levels. Vacant rental units are also eligible.

To learn more about the Program and request an application, call the City of Grand Rapids Community Development Department, Housing Rehabilitation Office at (616) 456-3030. Applications are also available for download at, or at

This award is the seventh federal grant received by the City of Grand Rapids to address lead-based paint hazards. With these resources, the City and its partners have made 1,319 homes lead safe, educated 2,708 residents, property owners, and contractors in lead safety, and trained 92 individuals as lead abatement professionals.