City awarded $1.8 million grant for lead reduction and healthy homes program
The City of Wilmington has received a $1.8 million grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to help make homes in the area safer for low-to moderate income households. The city will provide $150,000 in matching funds.
The grant will go toward establishing a Lead Hazard Reduction (LHR) Program, which has a goal of making a minimum of 63 units lead-safe and addressing healthy home issues in 60 units over the next three and a half years. Priority will be given to grant recipients with low-to-moderate incomes living in historic neighborhoods, including the Northside, Brooklyn, Dry Pond, the Bottom, Southside and Old East Wilmington.
The LHR program consists of three components:
- Lead hazard and healthy homes outreach, education and awareness among at-risk populations, especially low-to moderate income households with children under the age of 6;
- Lead hazard control and remediation and healthy homes activities in homes of eligible homeowners and renters;
- Training in lead safe work practices, including certifications for area contractors and volunteers.
The city will work with Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry and Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity to assist with marketing, outreach and education, as well as providing direct referrals from households they are assisting, especially through hurricane recovery initiatives. Other partners include Wilmington Housing Authority, New Hanover County Health Department, Cape Fear Community College and New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
The program will be used to complement the city’s Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program, which provides low-income loans to qualified applicants. The city will also use it as an incentive to generate and preserve affordable rental units by providing qualifying property owners grants in exchange for offering units to low-to-moderate income families with small children.