City of Cleveland Receives $9.7M Grant to Reduce Lead Hazards and Lead Poisoning

The City of Cleveland Department of Community Development (CDCD) is the recipient of a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant will support Cleveland’s Lead Hazard Reduction (LHR) program in its efforts to reduce lead hazards in the home and prevent childhood lead poisoning in Cleveland.

“Lead poisoning affects all of us and the costs of lead poisoning are high—to our children, our families, and our community,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “Cleveland’s families deserve better and our goal is to find solutions that will work today, tomorrow, and well into the future.”

With grant funding, the CDCD’s LHR program will focus on reducing lead hazards in homes of children under age six in Cleveland through a comprehensive plan that includes lead poisoning prevention, weatherization, energy conservation and rehabilitation in the homes of the City’s most at risk, low-income residents. The plan will also encompass code enforcement, economic development, job training, lead education and outreach.

The CDCD’s target area for the LHR grant program includes four census tracts within the Glenville community. This area has historical levels of lead poisoning, a high concentration of housing stock built before 1940 and a significant amount of housing built between 1940-1978. The target area consists of 67 percent pre-1940 housing units, 8 percent of children under age 6, and 70 percent low income families.

“I welcome this federal grant aimed at the Glenville neighborhood which has been heavily impacted by lead contamination,” said Councilman Kevin Conwell who represents the Glenville area. “This infusion of capital will help to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

The LHR program leverages citywide efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning in Cleveland. In Jan. 2019, Mayor Jackson, Council President Kevin J. Kelley, Councilman Blaine Griffin and multiple partners announced Lead Safe Cleveland, a public-private partnership of 300+ members that serves as an umbrella entity for lead safe efforts in the city.

“We are excited to see that resources are being provided to support our comprehensive efforts to make Cleveland Lead Safe,” said Councilman Blaine Griffin. “We hope others from the private and philanthropic sectors will also make similar investments in our families and children.”

The coalition has made a significant impact, including the creation and execution of an action plan which includes the passing of comprehensive legislation and a rework of city ordinance Chapter 240, hosting the widely-attended Cleveland Lead Safe Summit, creating a Cleveland Lead Safe Home Fund and advocating for state and federal support. One of the coalition’s most significant accomplishments is working with Cleveland City Council to pass legislation in July 2019 requiring all landlords of pre-1978 rentals to now proactively achieve lead safe status.

“It is gratifying to Community Development, and our partners in Public Health, to receive this large award on top of our current grant as it reaffirms HUD’s confidence in our ability to get the money into the community to benefit of the residents of Cleveland,” said Director of Community Development Tania Menesse. “HUD recognized that the Cleveland Lead Safe Coalition would be able to leverage the Federal reward with matching philanthropic and private dollars to address the housing issues that are at the root of lead poisoning in the community. The grant dollars utilized for workforce development and community outreach will be augmented by the Lead Safe Coalition’s planned resource center and workforce programs.”

For more information on the Cleveland Lead Hazard Reduction Program visit:http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/LeadHazardControlProgram. Follow the coalition’s conversation about upcoming news, events and legislation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via #LeadSafeCLE