City Receives 2.5 Million Dollar Grant from HUD

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Receives 2.5 Million Dollar Grant from HUD

Posted: 09/17/2013
On behalf of the City of Knoxville, Mayor Madeline Rogero accepted a $2.5 million grant today from officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to eradicate lead-based paints and other home health hazards in the Knoxville area.

The City's Community Development Department was designated for the grant, which will be used to clean up lead paint hazards, train workers in lead-safe work practices and to increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning.

"Even though the use of lead-based paint was banned more than 30 years ago, there are still homes that have significant amounts of this hazardous paint," said Mayor Rogero. "This grant will help us to make those homes safe and healthy. We are grateful to HUD for this funding."

Lead is a known toxin that can impair a child's development and have long-lasting effects. Lead-contaminated dust is a primary cause of lead exposure and often leads to health problems in younger children, including a reduced IQ, learning disabilities and developmental delays. At higher levels, lead is known to damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and cause convulsions and even death.

"At HUD, we've recognized that housing serves as a platform to improve health. If you want to improve health you must improve housing too," said Ed Ellis, HUD's Knoxville Field Office Director. "The children of Knoxville deserve the best possible home environment to grow up in, and this lead grant will help make that possible."

Community Development Director Becky Wade said the department is one of 38 agencies chosen by HUD for the grant. Community Development will work together with Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) to conduct lead hazard control work in targeted homes.

The grant program is part of HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control and is used to promote local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead hazards from lower-income homes; stimulate private sector investment in lead hazard control; and educate the public about the dangers of lead-based paint.