$5 million to help Trenton, Newark clear low-income homes of lead

(Backyard Productions/Bigstock)

(Backyard Productions/Bigstock)

Federal grants totaling $5 million will help two New Jersey cities reduce lead paint hazards in public housing.

The funds will allow remediation of 140 low-income housing units in Newark and 145 in Trenton to prevent poisoning from chipping and peeling lead paint.

Staci Berger, who leads the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, said the plan is a big step forward.

“Every home we fix is fixed forever,” she said. “So it might not sound like a huge number, but it’s an enormous investment especially in the fact that we know that Newark and Trenton are two of the top communities that are facing lead poisoning in homes.”

Berger said it’s worth the $5,000 to $10,000 expense to remove lead poisoning hazards from each of those homes.

“To not remediate and mitigate lead poisoning in homes is extremely expensive to an individual family and to society at large,” Berger said. “Educating a child who had special educational needs as a result of lead poisoning costs $32,000 a year.”

Gov. Chris Christie announced in April that $10 million from the state budget is being directed to testing and removing lead paint from low and moderate income homes.

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