Seven grant programs totaling $139 million to clean up lead paint hazards and improve living conditions for lower-income families were announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grants will help 62 local projects around the country, benefiting thousands of children and families in 26 states, according to HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

The projects aim to eliminate dangerous lead from lower income homes, stimulate investment in lead control, educate the public about the dangers of lead-based paint, fund programs promoting safer homes and support scientific research into innovative methods to identify and eliminate health hazards in housing, HUD said.

The funding announced today includes nearly $123 million to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards in thousands of privately owned, low-income-housing units, according to HUD.

These funds are provided through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs. In addition, HUD’s Operation LEAP (Lead Elimination Action Program) will provide $4 million to encourage private-sector contributions, the department said.

HUD will also award $2.3 million in Lead Outreach grants for public education campaigns on what parents, building owners and others can do to protect children. Further, nearly $1.7 million will assist research to study methods to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of lead hazard control strategies, the department said.

The funding announced today also includes nearly $6 million in demonstration grants to identify and eliminate housing conditions that contribute to children’s disease and injury, such as asthma, lead poisoning, mold exposure, and carbon monoxide contamination.

HUD is also investing more than $2.5 million to support scientific research into new ways of identifying and eliminating health hazards in housing, the department said.

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