Oct-25-2010 DCA'S Lead Hazard Control Assistance Program to Assist More New Jersey Households
DCA'S Lead Hazard Control Assistance Program to Assist More New Jersey Households
TRENTON - In recognition of "Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week," New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa today announced several Lead Hazard Control Assistance Program changes aimed at giving more New Jersey households the opportunity to abate lead found in their homes. The rule revisions are part of the DCA's comprehensive effort to keep children safe from lead.
"Exposure to lead remains the single largest environmental threat to our children's health and continues to be a preventable cause of developmental disabilities," said Commissioner Grifa. "These program changes will have the lasting effect of making more housing units throughout the state safer for our children to live and grow up in."
The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Program provides low-interest, deferred-payment loans directly to homeowners and property owners for reducing lead-based paint hazards in housing units. Rule revisions to the program reduce the minimum loan amount to $1,000 in order to assist property owners with smaller lead projects; relax loan repayment requirements; and provide blended loans or grants to property owners who are responding to a lead hazard in a home where a child was lead poisoned, but have insufficient equity in the subject property.
The revisions also introduce several new program initiatives developed by the Department to prevent childhood lead poisoning.
Lead Identification and Field Testing Program (LIFT) provides funding to eligible participants to purchase lead testing equipment that identifies lead in a field environment;
Health Expedited Abatement of Lead Program (HEAL) provides funding to local health boards to finance lead abatement on properties where the owner is unwilling or unable to perform the abatement treatments identified in a Notice of Violation/Abatement Order;
Housing Assistant for Lead-Safe Living Opportunities Program (HALLO) provides funding to non-profit organizations to assist households eligible for relocation services;
Lead Dust Hazard Removal Program provides for the removal of lead dust hazards in cases where a tenant's household includes a qualifying child; and
Geographic Organization of Lead Data Program (GOLD) collects lead risk factor data and uses geographic information systems (GIS) mapping and other planning to develop specific recommendations for lead education/outreach initiatives.
The DCA also has a Memorandum of Agreement with the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development to subsidize lead training. The Lead Ready courses will be offered at county colleges beginning in January 2011. This will allow individuals to meet the lead-safe work practices now required under both federal and state law. The 2-1/2 day seminars will include the EPA Certified Renovator Course, the EPA Lead Dust Wipe Technician Course, the OSHA Hazard Communications Course, and the New Jersey Regulations on Lead Course.
"New Jersey has had success in reducing people's exposure to lead, but there is much more work to be done," Commissioner Grifa said. "With these changes and new initiatives in place, Governor Christie and I are confidant homes in this state will become safer for families."
The Governor declared the week of October 24 through October 30 to be "Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week" and urged residents to get involved in the fight against lead poisoning.
The most common place to find lead is in house paint in homes built before 1978. Lead poisoning occurs when high concentrations of lead are found in blood levels. In children, this can result in hyperactivity, learning or behavioral problems. In adults, it can lead to increased blood pressure and digestive, muscle and joint problems.
The Indoor Environmental Hazards Unit in the DCA's Division of Housing and Community Resources administers the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund. For more information on the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Act and the programs it funds, please visit www.leadsafenj.org or contact the DCA at 1-877-DCA-LEAD.