CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland is one step closer to making homes throught the city safe from toxic lead.
City Council on Monday night approved chipping in $17 million in American Rescue Plan Act money make homes lead-safe. Lead causes sickness, behavioral issues kidney and brain damage in exposed children.
“We’re talking about our kids and our babies having lead running through their blood, which attacks their bodies, their brains and beyond and creates life-long detriments to their health and wellbeing,” Ward 3 Councilmember Kerry McCormack said during a Monday committee meeting. “Kids and babies are being poisoned today, unfortunately, still.”
The city’s $17 million contribution is just part of the overall effort. Between the Cleveland Clinic, Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition and the city, roughly $115 million has been designated for making homes lead safe in Cleveland, as of January.
The money will be allocated to Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation.
The program will provide grants for homeowners and rental property owners for “lead safe home repair,” incentive grants for landlords to have homes certified as lead safe, job training for those involved in lead safety, housing assistance for those who are “facing housing insecurities due to lead” and for lead testing.
Unlike previous programs, which focused on certain neighborhoods, this ARPA-funded lead safety project allows spending in “every single census tract” in Cleveland, said Emily Lundgard, the senior program director at Enterprise Community Partners. Enterprise is a member of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition.