Benton Harbor residents urged to get free home inspections to help get through lead crisis

NOW: Benton Harbor residents urged to get free home inspections to help get through lead crisis

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – It’s been well over a year since the start of the Benton Harbor water crisis.

As of this month, more than 400,000 old, lead service lines have been ripped out of the ground and replaced, greatly improving the city’s drinking water quality.

But while the lead pipe replacement project may be finishing up, lead contamination is still a cause for concern.

“We’re getting the lead out of Benton Harbor,” said Princella Tobias, with Benton Harbor Team Solutions—who is leading that charge.

“Now the home needs a lead inspection,” she said, as dozens of homes have since been inspected and had lead fixtures—from plumbing and paint to lead-lined windowsills and doorframes replaced—to avoid any further contamination, at no cost to the homeowner.

To help move the project forward, the city held a community health and environmental resource fair on Tuesday, to get more homes inspected—as well as pass out water filters and testing kits.

“They’ll actually have you filling out applications—even though they supply applications—you will get to fill them out today, and then the process starts, and it’s expedited,” said Tobias.

Tyrone Bradley is just one Benton Harbor resident who came out to sign up for the free inspection—and he hoped more do the same.

“It’s a good thing to know that our community is being taken care of,” said Bradley. “I thank the governor for the part she played, I thank the mayor for the part he played, but I believe the community has really got to step up and be vigilant to what’s going on in the community, to make a change, always, for the citizens of Benton Harbor.”

Residents can also fill out an application online. That form can be accessed here. 

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