Denver receives $2.8 million grant for lead abatement in low-income homes

The following is a news release from the Denver Department of Environmental Health. HUD grant will fund lead abatement assistance for 130 homes over three years

July 24, 2017 — Denver’s Department of Environmental Health (DEH) was recently awarded $2.8 million to provide lead-based paint mitigation and abatement assistance to 130 low- and moderate-income homes over the next three years.

The funding is part of a $127 million effort by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to better protect families from lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.

DEH was one of only 48 state and local government agencies across the country to receive funding and is the only Colorado agency awarded in this grant cycle.

The Denver Office of Economic Development was previously awarded $2.2 million under the same grant program in 2010 and provided lead-based paint mitigation and abatement services to 131 families from 2011 to 2014. This most recent round of funding will be administered by DEH with the support of the Office of Economic Development (OED). Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) will serve as the program’s general contractor. OED is providing at least $275,000 in matching funds through its continued support of DURA’s administration of the Single Family Rehabilitation and Emergency Home Repair programs.

Under the grant, qualifying homes will receive a full lead-risk assessment, an abatement plan and abatement services, which can average $8,500 per home.

To qualify for grant assistance, a home must:

  • Have been built prior to 1970
  • Contain deteriorated lead-based paint or high lead dust levels
  • House a child under the age of six at least 20 hours per week
  • House residents earning at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income
  • Be located in one of the qualifying zip codes: 80204, 80205, 80207, 80211, 80216, 80219, 80220, 80223

The program will serve residents in eight Denver zip codes across 18 neighborhoods. Homeowners, as well as landlords renting to qualifying tenants, will be eligible. Program participants will primarily be referred to the program by DEH’s residential public health inspectors, Denver Health physicians and community-based partners.

In addition to lead abatement services, the grant also includes $400,000 to address 28 other healthy homes hazards, such as trip and fall hazards, within qualifying homes.

HUD’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant programs have a proven history of success, filling critical needs in communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents. Nationally, the grant will reduce the number of children with elevated blood lead levels and protect nearly 7,600 families living in homes with significant lead and other home health and safety hazards.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. Lead absorbed into the body can cause damage to the blood cells and vital organs, including the brain, kidneys and nerves, according to HUD. Learn more about DEH’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program here.

Qualifying Neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, Sun Valley, Villa Park, West Colfax, Cole, Clayton, Whittier, North Park Hill, Northeast Park Hill, Sunnyside, Highland, Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Westwood, Barnum, Barnum West, Mar Lee, Valverde, East Colfax, Athmar Park. 

As Denver’s nationally-accredited local public health agency, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is dedicated to advancing Denver’s environmental and public health goals. The divisions of DEH are: Animal Protection, Community Health, Environmental Quality, Office of the Medical Examiner, and Public Health Inspections.

For more information about DEH, visit www.denvergov.org/EnvironmentalHealth or follow DEH on twitter.com/DenEnviroHealth