HUD Award To Help Protect Detroit Families From Home Health Hazards

Detroit, MI - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded over $15.2 million across the State of Michigan including $9.7 million to the City of Detroit, the largest grant amount awarded to the top five grantees.

Nationally, HUD awarded a record investment of more than $314 million to 77 state and local government agencies including more than $5 million to six tribal communities to protect children and families in low-income households from lead-based paint and home health hazards. Many of the grantees announced today will work to clean up lead hazards in Opportunity Zones.

The City of Detroit was awarded $9,100,000 in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding and $600,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. The City will address lead hazards in 450 housing units providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children. The City will also perform healthy homes assessments in 120 units, and work with other medical and social service providers.

“We are committed to improving the lives of all families, especially children, by creating safer and healthier homes,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “One of HUD’s priorities is protecting families from lead-based paint and other health hazards. These grants will help states, tribes, and local communities do precisely that.”

“We at HUD understand the importance of the intersection between health and housing and are deeply committed to protecting families and children across the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan so they can reach their full potential,” said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph P. Galvan.

Over the past 20 years, incidents of lead poisoning in Detroit among children ages six or younger have been reduced nearly 90 percent. Mayor Mike Duggan noted that while much progress has been made, there are still too many older homes in the city that pose risks.

"I am deeply appreciative to our partners at HUD for awarding Detroit its largest grant nationally to help us get into hundreds of more homes to make them safer for families. Having this funding for lead abatement will help lower-income families stay in their homes by making sure they don't have to shoulder the significant cost of lead remediation they otherwise would not be able to afford," indicated Mayor Duggan.

The Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program grants include $30 million in HUD’s Healthy Homes Supplemental funding to help communities address housing-related health and safety hazards, in addition to lead-based paint hazards. Seven local communities were awarded grants to help their ‘High Impact Neighborhood’ where they will conduct lead hazard control and healthy homes work intensively in a targeted neighborhood impacted by poor housing conditions. HUD’s new tribal grants fill critical needs in communities where limited resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable tribal residents.

Combined, these investments will protect families and children by targeting health hazards in more than 14,700 low-income homes with significant lead and health hazards for which other resources are not available to address these needs.

“HUD understands the close connection between health and housing,” said Matthew Ammon, Director of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “This year, HUD is awarding a record number of awards to jurisdictions to directly support their efforts to identify and clean up housing-based health hazards like lead and mold.”

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards from lower income homes; stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control; supports cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards; and educates the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.

Lead Hazard Reduction in Opportunity Zones
Created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones aim to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities by offering significant capital gains tax relief to those who invest in these distressed areas. This initiative is anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment in Opportunity Zones. Incentivizing investment in low-income communities fosters economic revitalization, job creation, and promotes sustainable economic growth across the nation, especially in communities HUD serves. Applicants seeking funding under HUD’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes Production Grant Program for Tribal Housing receive bonus points to further drive public investment to these areas.

Next Steps
In January, an application process will open for owner occupants in the selected census tracts to apply for lead remediation.  The Health Department will send staff to the house to assess it for lead paint/lead risk.  

If the home has lead paint that needs to be abated and the owner qualifies, it will be provided to HRD to be scheduled for abatement, which likely would begin in mid-2020.

The grant spans five years.  At the end of the grant, data will be evaluated to determine the change in cases of elevated blood lead level in those census tracts compared to the years prior to the grant to determine the effectiveness of this approach.