May 24, 2016 11:21:20 AM by
Thanks to all of you who called your senators last week to urge them to pass the HUD
funding bill! The bill did pass the Senate, with $50 million in funding increases for lead hazard control, half of which will go to HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes
(OLHCHH) – raising their budget to $135 million – and half for lead hazard control in public housing.
Similarly, the House appropriations committee just passed a House funding bill that also increases HUD’s OLHCHH budget – to $130 million, an increase of $20 million. Both bills also provide level funding for CDBG
and allow continued assistance to all households currently served by HUD programs, with some targeted increases. We'll need your help over the summer and fall to ensure that these lead hazard control funding increases are enacted at the Senate level.
Of course, this is only a fraction of the funding needed to eliminate lead poisoning, but it's a strong step forward in an austere budget environment. To help us press for more funding, sign up
for the Find It, Fix It, Fund It campaign
for our Find it, Fix it, Fund It webinar rollout meeting tomorrow (1 p.m. EDT).
We thank Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) of the HUD appropriations subcommittee for working closely with ranking members Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) and Representative David Price (D-NC-4) to increase spending on lead hazard control. All three brought the issue up as a key success of the bill at the markup hearing today.
I was able to thank them personally and urge you to thank you them too by tweeting:
@MarioDB thank you for increasing @HUDgov #lead hazard control funding and protecting America's children!
@NitaLowey thank you for increasing @HUDgov #lead hazard control funding and protecting America's children!
@RepDavidEPrice thank you for increasing @HUDgov #lead hazard control funding and protecting America's children!
Here are additional highlights from the Senate bill in which Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Jack Reed
(D-RI) crafted numerous policy changes to improve lead poisoning prevention! The new bill will accomplish the following:
- Provides more resources to the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes ($25 million) and lead hazard control in public housing ($25 million).
- Allows lead hazard control grants to serve zero-bedroom units for the first time.
- Requires HUD to align its blood lead level standard with CDC’s (changing the standard from 20 μg/dL to 5 μg/dL).
- Doubles the staffing at the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes’ Enforcement Division.
- Also: Increases funding for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program, and homeless assistance programs.
Thanks for all you do, and don’t forget to join
the next full National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition webinar
on June 7, which will include a panel on Healthy Housing for Older Adults!
Find It Fix It Fund It
June 15, 2015 10:20:15 AM by
“When my son was poisoned by lead, I had to act. But how?”
This was the question posed by Thomas Beller, a New Orleans resident and father whose story of lead poisoning was published yesterday in a New York Times op-ed
. Despite Beller’s efforts to avoid his child’s exposure to lead, his son was poisoned by remodeling on his neighbor’s home. Through rapid intervention – received only because his son had routine blood lead screening at age one – his son has since reduced his blood lead levels. Yet like millions of other parents of lead-poisoned children, Thomas is left with the difficult question: What is my next step?
Millions of children living in urban areas of the United States are at a disproportionally higher risk of being lead poisoned. An article in The Washington Post
last week identifies lead poisoning as one of the most ignored factors affecting the educational outcomes of poor children.
With blood lead levels playing such a major role in the development and well-being of children, the job of addressing this issue must not be left only to those who are affected by it. Yet Congress has failed to prioritize this issue: Just last week, the House of Representatives cut the HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes’ funding by 31%.
The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention could potentially face similar cuts; the House will release
its proposed CDC funding levels tomorrow.
Let’s hope the House is not as short-sighted in its CDC funding as it was with its HUD funding and restores funding for the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to $29 million – or, at a bare minimum, retains the current $15 million funding level. This program provides surveillance for lead-poisoned kids and education to families so that perhaps other parents like Beller can help their kids in time, and so that communities can find the homes making children sick and repair them to be lead-safe. Tell your members of Congress
that funding levels for these programs cannot be cut further. We must end the scourge of lead poisoning once and for all – and help those kids who have already been poisoned. If you haven’t yet, sign the letter to Congress
demanding full funding – and email it to five of your colleagues today!
New York Times