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City gets HUD grant to remove lead paint

– The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday announced awarding nearly $2.5 million in grants to Fort Wayne to help make area homes safer.

The federal agency awarded $2.3 million for lead-based paint-hazard control and $180,000 for the identification and reduction of lead and other hazards in 300 homes.

The Summit City awards were part of nearly $7.5 million in grants made by the federal agency to northern Indiana. The money is intended to remove lead and other hazards in nearly 6,000 high-risk homes, train workers in safety methods and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning.

“With these grant awards, HUD makes it clear that providing healthy and safe homes for families and children is a priority,” said Jon Gant, director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. “It’s simple: you can’t be healthy if your home is sick.”

The other winners of the grants were Elkhart County, $2.5 million, and South Bend, $2.5 million.

Although lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, the federal agency estimates that 24 million homes nationwide still have significant lead-based paint hazards. Paint dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can cause problems in children such as reduced intelligence, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height and impaired hearing.

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