City needs SBCC approval to use lead abatement money

NOW: City needs SBCC approval to use lead abatement money

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The City of South Bend was awarded more than $500,000 from the state to help out with lead abatement.

The city accepted the grant for $528,951 from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to address lead issues in 40 homeowner and rental units. The South Bend Common Council must approve the grant money.

The money will be used to cover costs related to the following:

-        Hazard control work

-        Risk assessment

-        Inspections

-        Clearance

-        Staff and personnel

ABC 57 News spoke to Dorthea Jones who applied for a similar program within the state. She said the state did a thorough inspection of her home, which was built in the 1920s, and inspectors reported her home tested positive for lead exposure.

“I realize now I have lead so I really want to get the ball rolling, to get it out of here as quickly as possible,” said Jones.

Jones lives at the home with her daughter and grandson. She said she was concerned that she could potentially harm her grandchildren when she learned her home tested positive for lead.

 “It’s a very old home so there’s lots of things that need to be done to it and with my income I just have not been able to maintain the quality that needs to be done to keep upkeep on it,” she said.

According to a state report, her home’s windows, sidings, and surround dirt tested positive. Karl Nichols, executive director of Community Wellness Partners said lead particles fall into the soil and go into the air making it dangerous for children.

The city said people can pre-apply and forms can be picked up at the St. Joseph County Health Department. As of October 22, the city received 13 applications that will be sent to the state health department.

Activity will begin in 2019, according to the city. Nichols said CWP has been educating people on the lead issue, but it’s time for action to be taken.

“People need to jump on the opportunity,” he said. “They can really try and get that taken care of in their home.”


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