Madison County officials will have $1.976 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct lead hazard activities over a three-year period for eligible households, effectively addressing lead poisoning, the top environmental health problem facing children.
Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said the Madison County Community Development department will administer and implement a comprehensive lead hazard control program in approximately 137 high-risk owner-occupied homes or rental units in the county.
“Lead-based paint was used in many homes constructed before 1978, when it was banned,” Dunstan stated. “Our children are our most important assets, and this grant allows Madison County to make a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children living in potentially harmful environments by limiting their exposure to this dangerous element.”
Lead poisoning can result in learning disabilities, decreased IQ and behavioral problems in children, especially those in the key developmental stage of infants to six-year-olds.
The Madison County Lead Hazard Control Program is designed to provide services to low-income families who occupy pre-1978 homes throughout the county. “Children in those homes are the most at-risk yet their parents or guardians are without the resources to correct the problem on their own,” Dunstan added.
The program is expected to provide inspections and risk assessment to 149 homes or rental units and reduce lead-hazards in 137. Owners of homes who are identified as needing lead hazard control work are required to sign a five-year forgivable mortgage, in effect agreeing to reimburse all costs of the work if the home is sold within five years.
Walter Hunter, Director of Madison County Community Development, said the agreement is necessary to ensure the program benefits families with legitimate need and not individuals looking to renovate and then resell, or “flip,” homes. “The program is designed to help families, especially children, by providing cost-effective controls and lead containment procedures that will have a positive impact by providing a decent, safe and affordable home.”
Hunter explained that lead-based paint becomes particularly hazardous when becomes airborne. “Although flaking paint can be eaten by children, the biggest issue is when friction, generally opening or closing a door or window, creates miniscule lead particles. Those particles become airborne and, subsequently, are inhaled.”
Applications for participation in the Madison County Lead Hazard Control Program will be taken -- by appointment only -- from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Madison County Community Development Building, 130 Hillsboro Ave. in Edwardsville, approximately a half-block from the Madison County Administration Building. To schedule an appointment, contact Program Coordinator Peggy Dugger at 618/692-8940.
Madison County Lead Hazard Control Program
Eligibility & Income Guidelines
Homes or Rental Units:
- housing children age six years or younger;
- housing pregnant women;
- housing income eligible residents;
- houses built before 1978; and
- proof of ownership and homeowner’s insurance required
Income Guidelines (cannot GROSS more than the following):
Household Size Gross Annual Income
Income Guidelines are based on HUD data
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