Medford City Council and Habitat for Humanity will work together to reduce lead contamination
Children exposed to lead-contaminated homes will benefit from a $2.2 million Medford effort to eliminate the poison.
Medford City Council on Thursday evening approved the program, which will be managed by Habitat for Humanity.
“We’re going to be able to help a lot of people,” said Denise James, the nonprofit’s executive director.
According to the Centers for Disease Control.
While children can be contaminated with lead directly from paint chips, it is more common for lead chips to contaminate surrounding soil or the ground where children play.
The program aims to remove lead from 78 homes in Medford.
Most of the funding for the program comes from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
To provide the required matching funds, the council donated $200,000 to the program, with an additional $40,000 from Jackson Care Connect.
The agreement with HUD expires on April 30, 2025.
The cleanup effort is part of the city’s 2020-2024 plan to expand and improve affordable housing.
Habitat is still preparing for the three-year program and recently hired Joe Berggren as project manager.
To qualify for the program, a home must have been built before 1978 and must have children under the age of 6 living in it.
Grandparents or other caregivers can also benefit from the program.
Priority will be given to homes where children under 6 have high blood lead levels.
Any homeowner or homeowner interested in participating in the program can call Berggren at 541-779-1983, ext. 102, or [email protected]
To qualify, a homeowner must commit to living in the home for at least three years after repairs to avoid reimbursing the costs, James said.
The household must be considered low-income according to the standards established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
James said Berggren, which begins next week, will conduct an analysis of the properties to determine the extent of the lead contamination and what steps need to be taken to clean up the property.
In addition to lead removal, the program provides an additional $5,000 to a particular home to address other health and safety issues, such as asbestos removal or heating and cooling systems. air conditioner.
James said Habitat will work with licensed contractors for lead removal.
Habitat for Humanity helped restore other homes in the valley and built homes for residents affected by the Almeda fire.
The organization anticipates that many residents will apply to be part of the program, but if it does not receive enough applicants, it will contact owners of older homes, which are common throughout the city.
“If we don’t hear from anyone, we’ll dig deeper into the data,” James said.
Contact freelance writer Damian Mann at [email protected]