EDWARDSVILLE – Lead paint, prevalent in homes constructed prior to 1978, continues to plague homes, but a program to address the issue is being offered iocally.
Frank Miles, administrator for Madison County Community Development, said The Madison County Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program is designed to provide assistance to property owners, whether they live in a home or rent it.
“The harmful effects of dust and paint chips from flaking lead-based paint has been known for decades, yet the issue of lead poisoning still exists because many homeowners or landlords have failed to address the problem,” Miles said.
As part of the program, Madison County Community Development contracts with approved risk assessment firms to evaluate housing units submitted by applicants; the average cost of the $900 assessment is covered as part of the program. If lead-based paint is found within the unit, licensed contractors remove the identified hazards. After the hazards are removed, licensed inspectors review the project, ensuring all work is completed and the home is lead safe.
“The program represents an opportunity for qualified home owners to make their homes safe without incurring the expense,” Miles added. “We know the negative effects of lead-based paint and there is no viable reason for this health hazard to exist in any home in Madison County.”
Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs. Children commonly ingest lead dust through hand-to-mouth activities. Evidence also exists that links children ingesting lead from the mother’s breast milk.
Eligibility and Income Guidelines
Owner Occupied Homes and/or Rental Units
• Housing children age five or younger
• Housing pregnant women
• Housing income eligible residents
• Houses built before 1978
Gross Annual Income and Household Size
Income guidelines are based on HUD data. Proof of homeownership and homeowner’s insurance is required. The owners of rental homes or apartments are required to contribute 10 percent of the cost of the lead hazard control work.
The Madison County program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For additional information about the program, contact program manager Peggy Dugger, Madison County Community Development, at (618) 296-4383, or via e-mail at: [email protected]