Cleveland Health Director: 'We Are Working Diligently' to Improve Lead Program
by Nick Castele
Cleveland officials say they plan to address lead paint hazards in dozens of homes this year. Paint chips and dust are seen as the culprits in thousands of child lead poisoning cases across the state.
The city is using a federal grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay for lead remediation work in 66 housing units this year. Cleveland has a goal of reaching 220 units over three years.
Natoya Walker Minor is the acting director of the city’s health department. She told city council she plans to improve Cleveland’s lead program by making city agencies work more closely together
“We are working diligently,” Walker Minor said. “We are moving forward, and I am extremely optimistic. We are going to do this. Building and housing is onboard, community development is onboard, our law department is onboard. We are working in tandem.”
She said she’s in regular contact with the state health department, as well. Cleveland is reviewing a backlog of 3,000 lead poisoning cases, which Walker Minor said need to be uploaded into a state database.
In December 2015, Walker Minor told council that the city plans to hire and train more lead inspectors.