Delaware County Council Vice Chair Dr. Monica Taylor joined members of the Delaware County Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition and local legislators on Feb. 18 to announce a new grant to help families protect their children by getting toxic lead paint out of their homes.
Delaware County was awarded a $1 million grant from the federal Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct lead remediation in low-income homes with pregnant women or children under the age of six. Combined with existing funds administered by the Community Action Agency in Delaware County, the county has approximately $2 million to help families and landlords that serve low-income families get the lead out of homes.
In Delaware County, over 300 babies and children are poisoned every year and 80% of homes are likely to have lead-based paint. Being exposed to lead-based paint can cause memory loss, anemia and kidney dysfunction. Since a child’s brain is still developing, lead can cause intellectual disability. Symptoms may include behavior problems, low IQ, hearing problems, short and long-term learning disabilities and growth delays.
The single best way to prevent childhood lead poisoning is to make sure older homes with children and babies under the age of six are lead-safe. The grants will allow Delaware County to help families and landlords take the necessary steps to keep children safe.
The funding will be administered by the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD.) Grants will be available to low income families to make their homes safe from lead. Grants will also be available to landlords who rent to low income families. Residents can contact the OHCD office for an application by calling 610-891-5425.
“These grants are incredibly good news for Delaware County, and we encourage families and landlords to act quickly to take advantage of the funding,” said Delaware County Council Vice Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. “As a mother, and also a former school board member, I know how critical it is to keep our children safe. Their health and safety is one of Council’s top priorities.”
In addition to the grant announcement, Public Citizens for Children and Youth officially unveiled guides for Delaware County families what to do if you believe a child has been poisoned by lead and how to access resources and information to make properties lead-safe.
For more information, or to download copies of the Delaware County lead poisoning guides, residents can visit: pccy.org/lead