Joe Biden announces $100M for lead-paint removal

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Jacob Adelman
Associated Press

Nearly $100 million in federal stimulus money will go toward a
program to remove lead-based paint and other health and safety hazards
from low-income homes, Vice President Joe Biden announced Friday.

Biden
announced the plan in the courtyard of an affordable-housing
development operated by a community group that is getting $875,000 of
that money to help identify and remove toxic paint and other health
hazards from 225 Los Angeles homes.

Biden said the program will immediately employ workers to do the lead-abatement work.

He
said it will also save the country millions in future health care costs
that otherwise would be spent treating people suffering from
neurological damage, slowed growth and other ailments connected to
growing up in contact with lead-based paint.

"This is a real bang
for the buck here," he said. "You have people from this community
filling good jobs, helping other families, helping children to stay
healthy."

South Los Angeles' Esperanza Community Housing Corp.
was among 53 local programs in 20 states and Washington, D.C., getting
grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to
remove lead-based paint and other hazards such as mold. The American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $13.61 billion for projects
administered by HUD.

Biden used much of the press conference to
stress the Obama administration's commitment to low-income communities,
which are most affected by lead-based paint because they include older
homes where the toxic paint was used.

"It's unacceptable that
some 40 percent of homes in this country still contain lead-based
paints, the majority of which are in low-income areas where homes have
not been renovated in decades," he said. "If we are truly going to
revitalize our communities and help families that are most vulnerable,
we need to invest that money now."

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