Congressman Cohen Announces $4 Million for Lead Hazard Reduction in Memphis


Washington, DC – October 24, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) announced that the City of Memphis received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for lead hazard reduction.  The FY 2008 Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC), a division of HUD, awarded the grant.

“I am very pleased that the City of Memphis has received these monies to ensure that low-income homes are safer and healthier,” said Congressman Cohen.  “Now more than ever, we must help communities protect children from health and safety hazards and build on our commitment to ending childhood lead poisoning.”

The City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD) was awarded this grant to perform remediation and clearance for at least 275 rental and single-family units.  The funding will help sustain the successful implementation of lead hazard reduction activities by the City of Memphis.  In partnership with state, county and federal agencies, Memphis is achieving a significant reduction in lead poisoning among young children.  This program will reduce environmental risks, and provide investment in low-income communities and employment opportunities.  HCD and its partners will identify or receive referrals on more than 400 potential lead hazard reduction units, and will determine eligibility, enroll and complete a minimum of 350 risk assessment and conditions inspections. 

Even though lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child’s kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death.

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Marilyn Dillihay, Press Secretary, 202-225-3265
Charlie Gerber, Communications Assistant, 202-225-3265


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