ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) – The Robeson County Housing Authority has been awarded $1.52 million by the federal government to help identify and reduce lead-based paint hazards in public-housing units, particularly those with families who have young children, HUD said.
The money is part of nearly $51.4 million awarded to 25 public-housing agencies in 19 states by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The only South Carolina agency to be awarded funding was the Rock Hill Housing Authority, which will receive 3.03 million.
“In order to be healthy, it’s important to have a healthy home,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. “Protecting families with young children from lead and other health hazards is an important part of HUD’s mission, and we don’t take it lightly. It is also a matter of environmental justice, and HUD is committed to President Biden’s directive to prioritize environmental justice and equity for disadvantaged communities.”
Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, but HUD estimates that there is still a hazard in about 24 million older homes. Exposure can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child’s kidneys and central nervous system and can even be deadly.