Feds give Flint $2.2M to strip lead paint

    Flint | Nick Manes

    Flint was awarded a federal grant for $2.2 million to find and remove lead-based paint from homes across the city, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) announced Wednesday.

    The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after Kildee had previously asked the department for the lead-removal funding, according to the congressman’s office.

    Dan Kildee | Susan J. Demas

    “There is no safe level of lead exposure and we should be doing everything we can to eliminate lead hazards from homes and neighborhoods,” Kildee said in a statement.

    “This federal grant will help the city of Flint expand programs to reduce lead and paint hazards in homes, as well as train dozens of Flint residents to be certified in lead remediation. I am proud to work with Mayor Weaver to bring these much-needed resources to Flint,” he continued.

    Flint officials will use the funding to “train residents and businesses to carry out lead hazard control activities,” according to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who praised the news in a statement released through Kildee’s office.

    Lead exposure can cause lifelong developmental problems in children and is also harmful to adults. Many Flint homes were built before 1979, according to the release, the year when the federal government banned lead-based paint.

    Flint’s water supply became contaminated with lead after state-appointed emergency managers switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River in April 2014. State and local officials failed to apply federally mandated corrosion control chemicals meant to stop lead from entering the water supply.

    But commentators and researchers have mentioned that lead-based paint also plays a major role in lead exposure in Flint and across the state.

    “We are grateful to Secretary [Ben] Carson and the HUD office of Lead Hazard Control and Health Homes for awarding this grant to the City of Flint,” Weaver said.

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