Saturday, September 3, 2011

Get the Lead Out--Finding Money to Help With Lead Abatement

Lead poisoning is a silent risk for children living in older homes.  Most homes built before 1978 were painted with lead-based paints, and may have flaked-off paint chips, or have lead-based paint in the soil near the house.  It's easy for children to ingest this lead and suffer brain damage from it.  Statistics indicate that lead abatement programs (and the change of paint formulas over the last 40 years) are working to reduce lead poisoning.  But if you live in older housing, and need lead abatement, you may be eligible for financial help. 

In Ohio, there are several lead poisoning centers around the state where you can inquire about getting your child's lead level tested.  Or you can contact your local health department.  In Toledo, Ohio, people who make less than 80% of the median income for the area may be eligble for an interest-free loan repayable upon sale of the house, or death of owner, to help pay for the cost of lead abatement.  A new program in six northwest Ohio counties-- Allen, Ottawa, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, and Wood--can help homeowners in those areas with the cost of lead abatement through WSOS, the community action agency.  For more information on this program, call 1-877-LEAD SAFE.

In Massachusetts, homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit for lead abatement costs in their homes as well as grants.   Rhode Island also has a tax abatement program.

If you live in other parts of the country, check out Lead Free Kids for local contractors and government agencies in charge of assisting citizens with lead abatement.  Another place to look for possible lead abatement money is at a community action agency that covers where you live. See this directory for a CAA near you.

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