(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, along with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01) applauded an announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that the agency is awarding a $5.4 million grant to the City of Manchester to help protect families with small children from the dangers of lead-based paint exposure.
This funding consists of $4.7 million through the Lead Hazard Reduction Grant program intended to maximize the number of children under the age of six protected from lead poisoning by identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately-owned rental or owner-occupied housing, plus an additional $700,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding to help identify and address other housing hazards that affect occupant health such as mold, allergens, carbon monoxide and radon in homes where lead remediation is also required.
Lead is highly toxic and can cause a variety of severe health problems in children, ranging from impaired brain development and hearing, higher risk of coma and even death. According to the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, 42,057, or 50 percent of Granite State children, reside in housing units built before the 1978 ban on lead in residential paint, which increases their risk of exposure.
“Lead poisoning is an entirely preventable tragedy that dramatically impacts a child’s health and ability to learn,” said Senator Shaheen. “This funding will help families in Manchester protect their children from lead poisoning and exposure to other hazardous contaminants in their homes. Particularly in many of our neighborhoods with older housing stock, it is critical to identify and remediate housing units with potential lead-based paint to ensure our kids can grow up healthy.”
“Granite Staters and their families deserve a safe and healthy place to call home. However, in many older homes, lead-based paint can be a serious threat to the health and well-being of children,” said Senator Hassan. “The federal funds headed to Manchester will help identify homes at risk for lead exposure and other health hazards, helping build on our promise of a healthier, stronger New Hampshire.”
“The health of our children is of the utmost importance, and we must be vigilant in our efforts to protect them from lead and other hazardous materials,” said Representative Pappas. “These funds will identify lead-based paint hazards so that they can be properly remediated and ensure that children in Manchester grow up healthy and safe. Moving forward I will continue to fight for funding to remediate lead and similar health hazards to protect children and families at risk of exposure.”
“New Hampshire, and Manchester specifically, have a relatively old housing stock and lead paint hazards pose a risk to families with young children,” said Joyce Craig, Mayor of Manchester, NH. “This $5.3M for lead abatement will have a significant impact on increasing the health of our community and making homes safer and more livable for generations to come.”
As a Senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, Shaheen helps lead an annual letter to fellow appropriators requesting funding for the Office of Lead Control and Healthy Homes at HUD, which administers the Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes grant programs, as well as funding for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).