June 20, 2017

HUD’s Healthy Homes Program Means Healthier Virginia Children

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Photo: Built in 1922, this Roanoke home was the site of extensive lead remediation including window sash replacement and paint stabilization on the interior and exterior of the house. Shown here are the before and after photographs of the exterior.

HUD’s Healthy Homes Program helps improve the quality of life for Virginians, especially children, by reducing the number of homes with hazards that endanger the health and safety of residents.

“The Healthy Homes Program uses a multipronged approach including grants, research and outreach to save lives and improve the health of children,” said Michael McGreevy, a Healthy Homes Specialist in HUD’s Richmond Field Office

Michael works with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Environmental Studies to identify local communities with the highest incidence of children with high levels of lead in their blood. This knowledge helps him target the marketing of HUD’s lead hazard control grants in the areas in Virginia that need it most.

Among the most successful applicants for the lead hazard control grants is the City of Roanoke, with grants totaling $7 million. Since the program’s beginnings in 2003, Lead Safe Roanoke has assisted over 300 families who couldn’t afford to address these issues on their own, making certain their homes are free from lead based paint hazards.

“We’re extremely proud of our City’s Lead Safe Roanoke Program as we continue to successfully reduce the possibility of our youngest citizens becoming poisoned by deteriorating lead based paint hazards found in our older homes,” Acting City Manager Brian Townsend stated.  “The City is committed to continuing educating our citizens to the dangers associated with deteriorating lead based paint. By working together with our program partners and our citizens, our goal is to make certain all housing in the City of Roanoke will be lead safe.”

HUD research has shown that children frequently suffer lead poisoning from the dust generated by the paint than from the lead-based paint itself. HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes stresses the importance of very stringent clean-up requirement after remediation to our partners in this effort.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, child lead poisoning declined by nearly 70 percent since 1997. In Virginia, HUD’s Healthy Homes Program helps lead to healthier children throughout the Commonwealth.

Toni Schmiegelow is a Senior Management Analyst in HUD’s Richmond field office.

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