Waterbury will receive more than $3 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds to protect children and families from the dangers of lead-based paints and other residential health and safety hazards.
HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced the funding this week. It is part of the agency’s mission to help children and families secure quality housing by protecting them from home health hazards including lead paint. “Every family deserves to live in a safe and healthy home where they can see their children thrive and excel,” Castro said. “A healthy home is vital to the American Dream.”
Waterbury will receive $2,906,610 in in what’s known as a Lead Hazard Control grant funding and another $325,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funds. The $2.9 million will be used to address and remediate lead-based paint in a total of 210 eligible low-income units. The $325,000 will be used to mitigate other home-health hazards, such as mold.
“This grant is welcome news for Waterbury, where we have been very proactive in educating our residents of the dangers of lead-based paints,” Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary said. Nationwide, HUD released over $101 million to 32 municipal, county and state governments for lead abatement. The HUD grants will reduce the number of lead-poisoned children and protect families by targeting health hazards in home with significant lead and/or other home health and safety hazards. The City will work cooperatively with a consortium that includes the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, Connecticut Medical Center’s Asthma Clinic-Breath Easy program, Waterbury Housing Authority, the Department of Family Services Foster and Adoption, and the Stay Well Health Center.
Waterbury Public Health Director William Quinn said the funds will be used over the next 36 months. “This is great,” Quinn said. “Only 16 grantees got awards this round so Waterbury must have been high on the list.” U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty all wrote to HUD Secretary Castro in support of Waterbury’s application. O’Leary noted that the Waterbury Health Department runs a Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and has a Lead and Healthy Homes Coalition with local social service agencies. In addition, the City maintains a list of more than 175 residential units that have already been deemed “lead safe” by health officials.