Toledo has received nearly $3 million in federal grants for lead hazard-related residential repairs and improvements, city officials said Monday.
The $2.9 million award, announced Monday, will come from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most of it, $2.5 million, is for lead-related improvements and $400,000 is allocated to treat other environmental hazards such as mold, officials said.
“We hold these dollars in trust not for us but for our children to make sure that we will use them wisely,” Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said.
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The funding will cover improvements at an estimated 145 housing units.
“It is a continuous effort to help keep the families in our community and the children safe from lead-based paint and other healthy home hazards,” said Bonita Bonds, acting director of the city’s department of neighborhoods. “I am ecstatic that we will be able to make that impact in our community.”
Ms. Bonds said the money can be used for a variety of lead-related repairs, including abatement or interim controls to comply with the city’s lead safe rental ordinance.
The HUD grants are available for residents in owner-occupied units who make up to $34,450 for a single-person household or $49,200 for a family of four. They’re also available for landlords to use in rental units occupied by tenants who meet the same income thresholds, city spokesman Janet Schroeder said.
Pamela Ashby, field office director for HUD’s Cleveland office, said Toledo was one of 48 recipients to receive a portion of $127 million in federal funds.
Ms. Ashby said lead poisoning is “one of the greatest environmental threats to our children.”
“Without aggressive and directed mitigation we are risking the development of our future assets, that is our children,” she said.
Those interested should call 419-245-1400 to begin the application process.
The city will work with Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, Neighborhood Health Association, Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, and Toledo Public Schools to refer applicants.
Anna Mills, president of the Toledo Real Estate Investors Association, said any available money is a good start in response to the city’s lead-safe rental ordinance, which requires pre-1978 rental properties with up to four units and home day care centers to be inspected and cleared of lead hazards.
“Anything that would assist with what they are asking us to do will help, though I’m not sure how many houses that would cover,” she said, adding said she hopes all of the money gets distributed to Toledo homeowners.
Toledo was allocated $2,232,000 from HUD through the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department in 2012, though the city was forced to release $572,000 meant for lead and other environmental home improvements because it was not distributed before the grant ended. Ms. Bonds said 111 homes were remediated of lead hazards with money from that grant.
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