NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The city of New Haven is getting a $7 million grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for a lead paint hazard reduction program.

The money will go toward removing lead hazards from hundreds of homes in New Haven.

Lead paint was commonly used before 1979, in homes across the country.

“It can impact the lives of children, not only immediately, but long term. The long-term effects that are impacting our children is significant. We don’t take this work lightly,” said New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond.

80 percent of homes in New Haven were built before 1978, when lead paint was commonly used, according to the city. Bond said 5,500 families could be at risk for lead exposure. According to the city’s lead database, there were 95 cases this year. 

“Half of all the kids who have lead poisoning live in big cities,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn).

Lead can be found in paint chips and dust. Lead exposure could have long-term effects on young children.

“They have issues with learning, their brain development may be impacted,” said Chris Corcoran with the Connecticut Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Homes Program. Their nervous system can also be impacted. What it leads to oftentimes is lower IQ, which obviously causes them not to be able to thrive, ADHD, behavior concerns is also a preponderance.”

State law mandates children ages 9 to 35 months to be tested annually for lead in blood. 

There is funding assistance available for homes that qualify. You can learn more by clicking here.