$3.4 million allocated from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to address lead issues in low-income homes
County executive renews call for Erie County Legislature to follow federal action, invest promised county funds in lead reduction initiative
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement Monday after U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Erie County was among the counties chosen nationwide to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to address lead hazards in local homes, particularly in low- and very-low income households. Erie County will receive $3 million in lead hazard reduction demonstration funding and $400,000 in healthy homes supplemental funding.
Poloncarz said, "The fight against lead in Erie County just got a big shot in the arm with the announcement of these grant funds and accompanying healthy homes funds, and I thank Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand for securing these funds and providing this big boost. This announcement augments Erie County investments in public health and safety and allows us to reach more homes, making more families safer and more communities cleaner. Working with our partners, our efforts to eradicate lead across Erie County will expand more than ever before."
Erie County partners with Belmont Housing Resources for WNY, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Heart of the City, West Side Neighborhood Housing, Jericho Road Ministries and Housing Opportunities Made Equal ("HOME") in addressing lead in the community.
The $3 million in lead hazard reduction demonstration funding will be used to address lead issues in 180 low-income housing units located in the City of Buffalo, while the $400,000 in healthy homes supplemental funding will assist in performing lead interventions in 75 more homes.
Poloncarz added, "I thank our partners for joining us in this vital work to protect children and families and create a safer, healthier Erie County. Their commitment should be emulated by the Erie County Legislature, which has held my administration's five-year plan to fight lead in Erie County in committee despite an obvious need for action, promising to invest in the plan when this grant was received. Now that the grant has been awarded, I urge the legislature to pass our lead initiative, which will allow the county to invest in the health and safety of residents across Erie County while these grant funds are limited to use in certain communities."