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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 29, 2017

NorCo Receives $1.5MM Grant to Get the Lead Out

Northampton County is the beneficiary of a $1.5 million grant to help residents with lead remediation in its owner-occupied housing rehabilitation projects. Frank Brooks and Mike Brett of Northampton County's Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), under the leadership of Director Tim Herrlinger, deserve the credit for money that should help the county's neediest homeowners, and more importantly, their children.

The state Department of Health warns that lead is especially harmful to young children. At low levels, it may make learning difficult, interfere with growth, harm hearing and delay development. At high levels, lead may cause coma, convulsions and even death. The leading cause of lead poisoning is lead dust from lead-based paint which was used in many homes until 1978.

It's expensive to remove. According to the County DCED, up to 40% of the cost for home rehabilitation is for lead remediation. The County hopes to put this money to work, starting this year. DCED will administer this grant countywide.

Since 2012, 12 homes have been rehabilitated under the County's Owner-occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program. The purpose of the program is to “maintain and preserve the availability of safe and affordable housing for homeowners who have low-to-moderate incomes through Northampton County’s boroughs and townships.”

Three more homes are under contract, and five more under the intake and review process. There is a pipeline of over 30 prospective clients.

DCED plans to administer the grant funds based on need, with a priority for child-occupied properties with children under the age of 6, as well as seniors aging in place in homes with identifiable lead-hazards.

DCED works with the code departments of the boroughs and townships to identify the neediest households. After the program has been advertised publicly, direct contact is made with any households determined to be in need by the local municipalities. It is up to the homeowners to submit applications. Those are reviewed based on the income criteria and eligibility of the requested activities on a first come basis, with few exceptions for emergencies or circumstances where there is an imminent threat to life or property.

Pre-application forms are also available on the county website.

DCED Director Tim Herrlinger said the grant will help "a greater number of citizens throughout Northampton county to improve their living spaces by removing the dangerous effects of lead, helping to bring more households up to a safer living standard.” Executive John Brown added that the grant "supports a creative program designed to provide real solutions to the challenges our neediest citizens face throughout the County, keeping healthy and safer home environments."

If you have a question about lead, you can call 1 (800) 424-LEAD [5323].


Anonymous said...

Are you serious? This is why we elected President Trump. Another welfare program. How about the lead in my house. Oh, never mind I work for a living. I don't make much but naturally too much for one of these give away programs. I guess they can call the number on their free Obama phone. First they have to go to the store and get their steak and lobster with their food stamp card. Their a medical checkup with their free Medicaid card. Then they can have the contractor come in and clean and paint their place.

It is a nice gig if you don't mind leeching off of everyone else.

This is the America hard working real people are tired of and want to change. You want to get your place painted get another job!

Anonymous said...

Real expensive to remediate? All you have to do is paint over it.

Anonymous said...

Where is the money from?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Real expensive to remediate? All you have to do is paint over it."

I'm no expert. I believe in some instances, it has to be scraped and then vacuumed.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing we're still talking about lead in the United States in 2017.

PippySqueek said...

Lead is still a problem due to the older homes in the area and that the CDC has changed the definition of high lead exposure from 10 down to 5. A lot of these kids with high lead levels are not always the "poor kids", but also kids of parents who do their own renevating without knowing exactly what is in their home. You can paint over it, but that is just a temporary fix until the under paint starts to peel up. Glad to see there is a program for homeowners, but there still needs to be something done about the landlords who rent to families and still don't do anything when a kid is diagnosed with high lead.