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South Bend receives grant for lead-safe home renovations

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Families now have the opportunity to receive new funding for lead-safe home repair in South Bend.

Joy Moore and her family moved into a newly renovated home in the Near Northwest Neighborhood after a prior grant helped remove lead hazards from the century old home.

“We got to buy a gorgeous home in a vibrant community… but it wasn’t really until moving in here that i was more aware of the lead problems,” she said.

Now, South Bend is a recipient of a $670,000 thousand dollar state grant that will fund the removal of lead from homes in the entire city. All homeowners have to do is apply.

“We want to make sure that every home; every family has that same opportunity,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg said referencing the Moore family.

Neighborhood officials say in this area the census gathered some of the highest elevated lead-blood rates in the community and in the state of Indiana.

80% of the homes in South Bend were built before the ban of lead paint in 1978– and paint is a major cause of childhood lead poisoning.

“Kids who are six and under, and especially very small kids, babies, are highly susceptible to lead in very small quantities. Small quantities of lead can lead to permanent, cognitive disabilities. A slowing down of function, and behavioral issues,” Near Northwest neighborhood Executive Director Kath Schuth explained.

The grant is open to residents city-wide for people living in rental and home-owned properties built before 1978, particularly with children living in the homes.

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