BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore will receive $9.7 million to address lead-based paint in low-income households from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes announced the funding Thursday, which will be awarded through HUD and will work to eliminate lead-based paint hazards in low-income private housing.

“All children deserve to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. Even the smallest amount of lead can harm the development of the brain and nervous system,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Finance Health Subcommittee. “These funds help to ensure that Baltimore families who rely on public housing have no reason to be concerned about this risk.”

Sen. Van Hollen added that families shouldn’t have to worry about their children’s exposure to lead- especially in their own homes, and that the funding will “directly” go to that effort to improve the standard of living for Baltimoreans.

$9.1 million of the funds were awarded through HUD’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Control and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs to identify and eliminate the hazards in low and very low-income private housing where children six years and under live.

HUD explained Baltimore was in part awarded the funding because it is a jurisdiction that has a higher number of pre-1940 rental housing and higher rates of childhood lead poisoning cases.

$600,000 of the funds were given through HUD’s Healthy Homes grant program- to address housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion.

$898,750 in federal funding for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City to conduct lead-based paint risk assessments, inspections, abatement, interim controls, and clearance examinations.

“Baltimore City has nearly three times the national rate of lead poisoning, which disproportionately affects African-American children living in old, distressed housing. These grant funds are critical to ensuring our children are growing up in healthy households with every opportunity to thrive and succeed in school and in life,” said Congressman Ruppersberger.

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