FLINT, Michigan—Residents can have lead-based paint hazards remediated from their homes at NO COST through a special grant program being operated by the City of Flint and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Congressman Dan Kildee helped secure $2.2 million for Flint in 2018 as part of comprehensive efforts to reduce and eliminate lead exposure to residents inside the City of Flint.
However, no homes have yet been serviced through the program. The issue was discovered as part of Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s operational audit after he was elected in November 2019. Mayor Neeley ordered an immediate reorganization to ensure this valuable opportunity is made available to residents. The City of Flint Office of Public Health is now working in conjunction with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Greater Flint Health Coalition to implement the program.
“We know all too well the dangers of lead. We must do everything within our power to protect our families from exposure to lead from any and every source. This comprehensive program is a unique opportunity to remove the danger to exposure from lead-based paints,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “We will continue to move our city forward and take full use of any opportunities to improve the health, safety, and welfare of our residents.”
Up to 70 residences will receive up to $15,000 in home improvements and remediation through the grant. To qualify for the program:
• The home must have been built before 1978.
• The household includes children under 6 or an expectant mother.
• The family qualifies as moderate- to low-income. (Earnings of $51,100 or less for a family of four. Income limits depend on household size.)
• The residence is (or becomes) up-to-date on property taxes.
Both owner-occupied homes and rental units are eligible for the program. If it is a rental unit, program staff can help determine if property taxes are up to date. If the residence is a rental, the landlord must agree to rent it at affordable housing rates for three years after lead abatement is completed.
In some instances, the family may have to temporarily move out of the residence so remediation can be done safely. When this is necessary, the program also pays for temporary housing.
Residents interested in the program can call (810) 237-2004 to reach Program Manager Mikesha Lorring during normal business hours or complete this online form. Additional information also is available at the City of Flint website at www.CityofFlint.com/LBPHC.
While often overlooked, lead-based paint can create a significant environmental hazard. It was widely used in homes built before 1978, when the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint.
When the paint ages, it cracks and peels, leading to paint chips and dust. Dust and chips from lead-based paint can get into the air in a home as well as the soil of the property.
Lead exposure can seriously harm human health, particularly children under the age of 6.
The City of Flint also has dramatically improved the levels of lead in its drinking water. The most recent testing showed exposure levels far below the national standard (4 parts per billion). Under Mayor Neeley, the City of Flint also is nearing completion of the service line replacement program and, after years of dangerous delay, is creating a secondary water source to ensure access to safe drinking water.
The mailing address is: City of Flint Office of Public Health LBPHC, 1101 S. Saginaw St., Suite 104, Flint, MI 48502.