As Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins has increased funding for lead abatement by 163% since 2014.
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, secured a total of $14,813,466 for three Maine cities and the Maine State Housing Authority to address lead hazards in Maine homes. Senator Collins wrote to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson in support of these grant requests.
“Lead poisoning poses a great threat to families that do not have the resources to afford costly lead abatement programs,” said Senator Collins. “Since the beginning of my Senate service, I have worked to raise awareness and secure funding to address this largely preventable health problem, which remains one of the most prevalent environmental issues facing children today. This funding, which I strongly advocated for, will help eliminate lead hazards in hundreds of homes, making them safe for Maine families.”
The grants were distributed through the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control (LBPHC) Program, the Lead-Hazard Reduction Demonstration (LHRD) Program, and the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI). Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed the fiscal year 2020 HUD funding bill Senator Collins authored that included $290 million to combat lead hazards. Senator Collins has increased funding for lead abatement by 163% since 2014.
The funding was allocated as follows:
· The City of Lewiston received a total of $5,206,649, which included $4,606,649 through the LHRD program and $600,000 through HHI.
· The City of Portland received a total of $2,541,696, which included $2,038,041 through the LHRD program and $503,655 through HHI.
· The City of Biddeford received a total of $3,246,744, which included $2,948,144 through the LBPHC program and $298,600 through HHI.
· Maine State Housing Authority received a total of $3,818,377, which included $3,218,377 through the LBPHC program and $600,000 through HHI.
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. As Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, she has successfully secured robust funding for this important program in bipartisan funding bills.
The LBPHC and LHRD grant programs identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned housing for rental or owner-occupants. The LBPHC program is open to all jurisdictions, and the LHRD program is targeted to urban jurisdictions.
HHI builds upon HUD's successful Lead Hazard Control programs to expand its efforts to address a variety of environmental health and safety concerns including: mold, lead, allergens, asthma, carbon monoxide, home safety, pesticides, and radon.
Lewiston was awarded $3 million LHRD grants in 2014 and in 2017 following Senator Collins’ strong support.