U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, have announced $3,365,733 in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration funding and $325,000 in Healthy Homes supplemental federal funding for Rochester.
The funds will provide necessary resources to spur collaboration between the Rochester Housing Authority and the Monroe County Department of Health to prevent lead poisoning accidents, according to a press release from the senators.
Schumer and Gillibrand said the city will now be able to address lead hazards in 235 housing units, providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children. In addition, the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program will also perform healthy homes assessments in 100 units.
“Lead poisoning is an irreversible, preventable tragedy that robs many families and children of their future,” Schumer stated. “We must do everything we can to eliminate lead from our homes, and this major federal grant will do just that, by injecting much-needed funds into lead remediation and prevention. These funds are an investment in the health, safety, and future of communities in the Rochester area.”
“This funding will help prevent lead poisoning in Rochester,” Gillibrand added. “Lead poisoning causes severe mental and physical health problems, and it is important to remove those hazards from our homes so we can keep our families safe. The Rochester Housing Authority, and Monroe County Department of Health, will now have access to additional resources that can help protect residents from exposure to this dangerous substance. ”
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lead is much more harmful to children than adults because it can affect children’s developing nerves and brains. Lead-based paint, still encasing homes’ walls, often erodes and settles on children’s toys on the floor, falling into the hands and mouths of children. Lead poisoning can cause developmental difficulties, physical pain, and neurological damage, officials stated.