With new state standards in place designed to reduce blood-lead levels in children, the City of Portland is urging landlords and homeowners to apply for help with lead abatement in their homes.
“Maine has one of the oldest housing stocks in the nation,” says Mary Davis with the City of Portland Housing and Community Development Division.
Davis says there’s no way to make a pre-1978 home absolutely free of lead, but funds from a newly acquired, three-year federal Housing and Urban Development grant can help make older homes more “lead safe.”
“We do have two target areas, which are Portland and Westbrook, and anyone who owns a single-family home, or a rental building, an apartment building, can apply,” she says.
Cumberland County will share $1.8 million in funds, with guidelines in place to serve lower-income families. Davis says initially the program has a target of addressing at least 88 homes.
In addition to lead, applications for help with air quality, mold, carbon monoxide and other significant home health issues will also be considered over the life of the grant.