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Senator Collins Announces $3.5 Million to Address Lead Hazards in Biddeford

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced that the City of Biddeford has received a total of $3,554,085 to help address lead hazards in nearly 100 homes, helping to make them safer for low-income families with children.  As the Ranking Member of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins championed this funding.


“More than half of Maine’s housing stock was built prior to 1978, the year that lead-based paint was banned, which has resulted in our state having one of the highest levels of lead paint contamination in the country,” said Senator Collins.  “For decades, childhood lead poisoning has negatively affected the lives of many in the Biddeford community.  This funding will be transformational for Biddeford families and improve developmental outcomes for children by limiting exposure to lead.  As the Ranking Member of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to push for funding for lead hazard abatement, increase the safety of housing for Maine families, and alleviate this public health threat.”


“I want to thank Senator Collins, on behalf of the people of Biddeford, for being such a strong advocate for this funding.  Senator Collins, repeatedly, over the many years, has been a supporter and friend of our residents,” said Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant.  “Biddeford has many older buildings, and there has always been a challenge, for many, in affording to remove lead paint from their apartments and homes.  This grant allows the City to continue its progress in assisting families in the removal of such a dangerous substance.”


The City will be addressing lead hazards in 95 privately-owned housing units providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children.  It will be addressing additional housing-related health and safety hazards using its Healthy Homes Supplement funding.  The City will be implementing its grant in partnership with several local medical and social service providers.


In 1999, during her first term in office, Senator Collins held a field hearing on lead poisoning in Lewiston.  Since that time, she has strongly advocated for increased funding for programs to address lead abatement and has successfully secured robust investments through her role on the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee. 


Lead poisoning can cause an increase in learning disabilities, lower rates of IQ, speech development deficiencies, attention deficit disorders, and aggressive behaviors.  The funding for this grant to Biddeford was awarded through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Grant Program and Healthy Homes Supplemental Funding.


Last year, Senator Collins announced a $3.4 million grant to address lead hazards in 110 housing units in Lewiston.