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County Receives $3 Million Lead Paint Prevention Grant From Federal Government

Jeff Mitchell, Chautauqua County lead prevention team certified lead risk assessor, checking the exterior of a window for the presence of lead paint. Submitted photo

Chautauqua County will receive $3 million to help remove lead paint from homes in the county.

Ben Carson, U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary, announced the funding on Friday. The funding is administered through Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Lead Hazard Reduction and Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program. The money will be used to remove lead hazards and help recipients partner with medical and social service providers to ensure safer housing for low-income families and families with children.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, recently sent a letter to Carson advocating for Chautauqua County to receive funding from the Lead Hazard Control program.

Lisa Schmidtfrerick-Miller, Chautauqua County healthy communities consultant, recently discussed the grant application with Jamestown City Council members. She said the grant, if received, will span 42 months and remediate lead paint in 120 to 150 homes.

“The goal is to make homes lead safe,” she said.

She said the program would be available for homeowners and rental units. She said, for those that apply, if work needs to be done to the house to remove lead paint that it will only cost the applicant $500. Work would include removing windows and doors, and remediate other areas of the house where lead paint could be exposed to young children.

Schmidtfrerick-Miller said county officials will be partnering with Chautauqua Opportunities to identify the high-risk houses where children under the age of 6 live.

Brent Sheldon, Ward 1 councilman and retired county lead risk assessor, said the county has received the grant four times in the past. He said, in the past, they have had trouble getting landlords to participate. He added that shouldn’t be a problem this time because it’s not as expensive as in the past.

“It’s the best bang for the buck,” he said.

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