Grant funds available to address lead, safety hazards

The Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) is offering grant funded money to help Valley homeowners and property owners remove lead-based paint hazards with a program called Naugatuck Valley Emends Lead Hazards (NauVEL).

This grant funded money will help to protect children before they are poisoned by lead hazards or injured by safety hazards in their homes.

In 1978, lead-based paint was banned in the United States, but lead exposure and poisoning is still a reoccurring problem for children. Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in lead dust that is created by chipped and cracked lead paint or on high friction services such as doors and windows.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that no level of lead exposure is safe for children. Even low levels can be very dangerous for a child’s developing brain, causing reduced cognitive ability and attention span, impaired aptitude for learning and an increased risk for behavioral problems.

Elevated blood lead levels can cause irreversible medical problems including hearing, speech, kidney, and brain damage. In adults, lead poisoning can cause high-blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems, muscle and joint pain, fertility and other problems that are lifelong.

Carol W. Slajda, program manager for NauVEL, said

“Lead poisoning is 100% preventable but, once a child has been poisoned, there is permanent damage and the cost of care is exponential,” said Carol W. Slajda, program manager for NauVEL, adding that with education and intervention to remove lead from the home, lifetime health and behavior issues can be avoided.

Residents may qualify for:

  • Generous financial assistance to remediate all hazards
  • Free inspections
  • Plans for lead and home safety hazard removal
  • Relocation assistance during construction
  • Up to $15,000 per unit of free money to keep your family and tenants safe
  • Remediation may include but is not limited to interior repairs, energy-saving windows, doors

Homes must be pre-1978 and in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour or Shelton. Those renovating a pre-1978 home must use an EPA, RRP certified contractor.

To find out if you qualify, apply online at www.nvhd.org/nauvel or call 203-881-3255. Additional information on making your home a Healthy Home is available at https://www.hud.gov/healthyhomes. NauVEL is a partner of Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program.