President Trump's Budget Increases Money for Lead-Safe Homes
President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget increases money for lead-safe homes, a major problem in Cuyahoga County. But the budget also eliminates the $3 billion federal Community Development Block Grants – and that might have a larger impact on lead reduction here.
The proposed budget earmarks $130 million to a Housing and Urban Development program that pays for removing lead-based paint from private residences. Cuyahoga County got about $3 million in 2015 and is applying for roughly the same amount for 2018.
But John Sobolewski, a deputy director at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, says more money for lead-safe homes won’t compensate for the loss of the Community Development Block Grants or CDBGs.
“Lead poisoning, at its core, is a housing related issue. And CDBG funds a lot of different programs, and in our community; it funds dollars to help people fix their homes. Anything we can do to improve housing stock goes a long way toward decreasing the risk of lead poisoning, reducing asthma. “
The County distributes lead-safe home money to low-income families in inner-ring suburbs who have children 5 years old or younger – those most likely to be harmed by lead exposure.