Community Affairs Dept. awards more than $6.8M in lead-safe home remediation grants

TRENTON, NJ — To address the ongoing threat of childhood lead poisoning, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs announced March 12 that it is awarding more than $6.8 million to 12 nonprofits through the Lead-Safe Home Remediation and Single-Family Home Remediation Grant programs. The programs will provide eligible residents with professional assistance to remediate and/or abate lead-based paint hazards in their homes to prevent elevated blood-lead levels in children and pregnant women. DCA plays an important role in lead prevention through the regular inspection of multifamily housing for lead-based paint hazards through the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Regulations, which emphasize lead-safe maintenance and work practices on housing built prior to 1978.

“Lead prevention is a priority in New Jersey and Gov. Murphy and I are committed to reducing the threat of lead poisoning in the state’s older housing stock where lead-based paint is frequently found,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA commissioner. “No child or adult should have to live with the detrimental and lasting health effects of lead poisoning. Through these grants, New Jersey residents will be provided with the information and assistance they need to remediate or abate their homes and live lead free.”

The target service area for the Lead-Safe program is statewide with the exception of Camden, Newark, the city of Passaic, Paterson and Trenton, which fall under the Single-Family Program.

In the Lead-Safe Home Remediation Grant Program, La Casa de Don Pedro received $463,372 to serve Essex County, excluding Newark.

In the Single-Family Home Remediation Grant Program, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark received $300,000, La Casa de Don Pedro received $491,279 and United Community Corporation received $300,000, all to serve Newark.

Nonprofits that receive an award must have experience in administering lead hazard control and/or weatherization assistance programs and be a U.S. EPA certified renovation, repair and painting firm. Eligible activities include the removal of lead-based paint hazards, including specialized cleaning, repairs, maintenance, painting, temporary containment, and the ongoing monitoring of lead-based paint hazards or potential hazards. Lead abatement measures are identified as a more long-term solution to removing lead-based paint hazards from surfaces and components via replacement and/or repair.

Households eligible for lead remediation must have an income at or below 80 percent of the area median income for the county in which the municipality is located and reside in one- to four-family residential properties constructed prior to 1978. For rental units, the property owner must be the signatory on the grant documents. Interested households can contact one of the nonprofit organizations if assistance is needed.

First priority will be given to households with children under the age of 6 and/or pregnant women. Second priority may be given to households deferred from DCA’s Weatherization Assistance Program due to the presence of lead-based paint hazards.

Average remediation costs per unit is $13,000. Lead-safe projects of up to $20,000 can be undertaken with prior DCA approval. The allowable average abatement cost per unit is $25,000.