Cook County Board Accepts Grant to Remove Lead-Based Paint in Targeted Suburbs

The Cook County Board of Commissioners today authorized acceptance of a three-year $2 million Lead Hazard Reduction Grant to remove lead-based paint from homes in specific high-risk suburban areas.

In accordance with requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Economic Development will provide lead hazard mitigation in conjunction with the County’s Residential Resilience Program. Both agencies worked together on the grant application.

"The risks associated with lead-based paint are well known," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. "I am pleased that our Cook County agencies have put together a program and secured funding on this important health and safety issue."

Homes in the following communities, which will be targeted through the grant, are believed to be at high-risk for lead poisoning: Town of Cicero; Cities of Berwyn, Blue Island and Calumet City; and Villages of Calumet Park, Dolton, Maywood, Riverdale and Robbins.

The Residential Resilience Program is administered by Cook County’s Department of Planning and Development and is primarily focused on flood remediation.

The program will assist income-qualified owners of single-family homes (one-to-four units) who reside in suburban Cook County with a one-time monetary grant.  HUD qualification guidelines fall under the broad category of resilience. As a result, applicants must have owned their homes before the severe storms and flooding that occurred during April and May 2013, which help define a community’s resilience.

Lead poisoning is a significant concern for young children and pregnant women. Lead exposure can cause changes in the brain that make it difficult for a child to learn, pay attention, and control their moods and behavior. To reduce the negative impact on children’s cognitive, physical and social-emotional development, it is important to prevent exposure and mitigate lead-based paint sources.

County officials will work with Commissioners and community organizations to disseminate information about the program.

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