Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Wilmington to allocate up to $230,320 toward stripping lead-based paint from low-income homes

Lead paint poses numerous health risks (Port City Daily/File)
Lead paint poses numerous health risks. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON – The Wilmington City Council will likely move Tuesday to allocate up to $230,320 for its efforts to eradicate lead-based paint from the homes of low-to-moderate income families.

In 2019 the city entered an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish the Lead Hazard Reduction (LHR)/Healthy Homes Program. It received $1.8 million in HUD grant funding in January 2020.

The city is now ready to sign contracts with two service providers to carry out the initiative.

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The program is designed to protect children under age 6 from lead poisoning, which is found to cause permanent harm to the brain and other organs, as well as behavioral and cognitive impairment.

About 75% of U.S. homes built before 1978 contain lead paint. As the paint ages, it chips off in pieces and poses a hazard to residents’ health.

In Wilmington, both low-income homeowners with children and rental property owners marketing to these families can apply for a grant if they are eligible for the program.

Priority will be given to families in low-to-moderate households in historic neighborhoods – including the Northside, Brooklyn, Dry Pond, the Bottom, Southside and Old East Wilmington.

After a “competitive bidding process,” the city is now proposing partnerships with two service providers. The council will likely vote on both Tuesday evening through the approval of the consent agenda.

One contract, not to exceed $163,200, would go to Precision Environmental Inc. to mitigate lead-paint hazards and other health and safety risks. The consultant would perform inspections, testing, risk assessments and clearance services.

The services could be provided to up to 100 households throughout the duration of the grant, which runs through July 1, 2023.

Cape Fear Community College is expected to receive the second contract, for up to $67,120, to provide lead-based paint awareness and education programs, informing best work practices to local volunteers and contractors.

The money would cover up to 14 classes and training sessions.

The council is meeting Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Citizens can provide public comments remotely through an online form. If received prior to noon on Monday, the comments will be read aloud at the meeting; those received by 10 a.m. Thursday will be entered into the record.

The meeting will be available for remote viewing on GTV8 and YouTube.

Send tips and comments to info@portcitydaily.com

Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at alexandria@localdailymedia.com or on Twitter @alexsands_

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