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Local HUD grant to help eliminate lead in homes

March 25, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer (dalexander@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Marshalltown a $2.4-million grant to help make local homes safe from lead.

HUD announced the 43 recipients of the competitive $110.8 million worth of grants Friday morning.

Michelle Spohnheimer, director of housing and community development, said the city will use the money to make 125 homes across Marshall, Tama and Hardin counties safe throughout the next three years.

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Spohnheimer

Marshalltown is one of the smallest communities to get federal funding, which, she said, typically goes to more urban areas.

"The money comes nowhere close to satisfying all the needs out there," she said. "But if definitely has a big impact on those families that need it the most."

Spohnheimer said lead is a problem in homes built prior to 1978.

Roughly 8,000 of the 10,000 homes in Marshalltown were built before 1978, but not all qualify for the grant since that money must be used to help low-income families, she said.

To make a home lead-safe, Spohnheimer said, typically costs between $12,000 and $13,000 since the workers have to be trained in lead abatement. The biggest cost is replacing old windows which tend to aerosolize paint when opened.

"It only takes the equivalent of a sugar packet spread across a room to poison a child," she said.

The city council will need to approve the acceptance of the grant, Spohnheimer said.

Workers should start making local homes lead-safe within the next couple months.

 
 

 

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