Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Lead-Safe Home Funding for 100 Residences

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2012
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                  802.735.7962  

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Lead-Safe Home Funding for 100 Residences

Burlington, VT - Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced that the City has funding available to make 100 houses and apartments safe from lead hazards over the next two years.  Speaking at a North Willard Street home slated to undergo lead-abatement safety work, the Mayor urged property owners to take advantage of this important program and to act quickly because the Burlington Lead Program (BLP) will distribute the funds on a first-come, first-served basis.  Interested property owners should call 865-LEAD.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” stated Weinberger.  “With hundreds of families with young children living in older homes across our City, we are eager to sign up more property owners,” said Weinberger.  “Lead poisoning robs our children of their full potential and costs taxpayers millions of dollars.  The Burlington Lead Program helps ensure the safety of our children and leads to more stable neighborhoods.”

Teresa “Tree” and Joe Cleary, the new owners of the North Willard Street home, and their children, a six-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, joined the Mayor and other City officials at the press conference.  “The hazard posed by lead to children is unknown to many young parents in our City,” said Joe Cleary.  “We are so fortunate to have a program in Burlington which not only raises awareness, but also takes concrete steps to reduce lead poisoning in children, and make old houses safer for future generations.”

The BLP, created in 2003 is a program of the City’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) and is nearly fully funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The most recent HUD grant received by the BLP was in October 2011 for nearly $2.5 million.  Those funds must be used by October 31, 2014.  So far, project abatement costs have ranged between $1,000 and $33,000. 

Brian Pine, CEDO’s Assistant Director for Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, encouraged property owners to take advantage of the program, stating, “This is a great deal.  The Lead Program pays for everything and the work we do, like replacing windows and repainting exteriors, address lead hazards and helps maintain property values.”

Homes and apartments constructed before 1978 may be eligible for BLP assistance.  To be eligible for the BLP, a home or apartment must be located in Burlington or Winooski.  Home-based childcare centers also are eligible.  Highest priority is given to units occupied by lead poisoned children.  For more information on the services offered or for a Burlington Lead Program application, please visit http://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CEDO/LeadPaint/Enroll-Your-Unit/.

While the City has a local lead safety ordinance to protect against lead poisoning, lead paint violations are commonly found in Burlington rental properties.  Code Enforcement Director Bill Ward suggested that violations could easily be avoided by enrolling in the BLP.  “Enrolling in the Lead Program offers landlords a great opportunity to do the right thing and keep their tenants safe, while protecting their investment,” Ward said.

Please see attached document:

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Press Release Date: 
11/20/2012
City Department: 
Mayor's Office