Haverhill Receives $2.4 Million Federal Grant to Remove Lead Paint From Homes

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Haverhill seeks to remove lead paint from at least 75 homes over the next three years thanks to receipt of a more than $2.4 million federal grant—the only such grant in New England and the largest nationwide.

Mayor Melinda E. Barrett, during an appearance on WHAV last week, explained the importance of the award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Lead Hazard Reduction Grant—it’s a whopper and it’ll impact families and households in the community. We have really old housing stock,” she said.

In a statement Wednesday, the mayor said priority will be given to homes with court-ordered deleading because of the presence of a child with elevated lead blood levels, units with children having levels of greater than 3.5 micrograms per deciliter, units where at least one child under six lives or spends a significant amount of time visiting, buildings of two to four units with two or more bedrooms and housing in attics/basements where lead-based paint is more prevalent.

Officials said the fund is the first time the city will have access to such dedicated resources.

City Grants Officer Kerry Fitzgerald is credited with playing “an integral role” in winning the grant. The Community Development Department will oversee and hire a program manager and a field operations supervisor to administer the program.

In addition, the city plans to contract with Community Action and the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council’s Northeast Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to develop outreach materials, informing the public about the availability of lead-based paint abatement programs and laws. Officials added Community Action will use an “internal approach,” targeting its heat assistance, Women, Infants and Children program, rental assistance, Head Start, English for Speakers of Other Languages and other programs.

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