MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Federal programs are targeting state and local housing units to eliminate hazardous lead paint.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants to both the State of Minnesota and Hennepin County, totaling $8.9 million.
Part of larger national funding initiatives, the money comes from two federal programs: the Lead Based Paint Reduction Program and the Healthy Homes Production Grant Program for Tribal Housing. These initiatives identify and target lead and other hazardous materials in low-income homes.
“We at HUD understand the importance of the intersection between health and housing and are deeply committed to protecting families and children across the State of Minnesota so they can reach their full potential,” HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph P. Galvan said in a statement.
Hennepin County will receive a total of $5.6 million in grants and address lead hazards in 350 units. The State of Minnesota will receive a total of $3.3 million in grants and address lead hazards in 151 units.
“We are committed to improving the lives of all families, especially children, by creating safer and healthier homes,” HUD Sec. Ben Carson said in a statement. “One of HUD’s priorities is protecting families from lead-based paint and other health hazards. These grants will help states, tribes, and local communities do precisely that.”
This funding is intended for low-income households, some of which are in designated “opportunity zones.” These areas, designated by former Gov. Mark Dayton, are part of the 2017 national Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The program is meant to encourage private-sector investment in these areas through tax incentives. In Minnesota, opportunity zones represent 128 census tracts across the state.