Lead and Healthy Homes
Lead is a toxic metal found in many homes that were built before 1978. Because you cannot see or smell lead, it is not easily detectable. New Hampshire’s homes are among the oldest in the country and may have lead in the dust, paint, and soil.
Federal Grants are available to remove lead paint hazards and perform minor healthy homes interventions in homes built before 1978. New Hampshire Housing received a $2.9 million federal grant for the abatement of lead paint hazards from the state’s single family homes and rental apartments where a child under the age of 6 resides.
State Loan Funds are available to assist owners of residential properties and child care facilities in addressing lead hazards at their property. New Hampshire Housing received $3 million in state loan funds. Owners of residential properties must first apply to a federally funded program in their area. Child care facilities may apply directly to one of our intake specialists for these funds.
The grant targets those who are most in need, low-income families and owners not financially capable of making their properties ‘lead-safe’ on their own. Applications are generally prioritized by:
- Units under “Order of Lead Hazard Reduction,” meaning a child has already been lead poisoned in the building.
- Owner-occupied units referred for an environmental investigation.
- Owner-occupied OR rental units occupied by a child with elevated blood lead levels (5 mcg/dl and above).
- Units occupied by a child under six years of age or pregnant women.
- Buildings must be built prior to 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned from use in residential units.
- All rental and owner-occupied units must meet income requirements (80% Median Area Income or less. View Median Incomes Adjusted by Family Size) to be eligible for HUD funded assistance.
- Average funding available to address lead hazards is $11,000 per unit, along with matching owner contribution funds. (Owners are required to provide at least a 10% minimum in matching funds)
- Additionally, approximately $2,000 per unit may be available from the Healthy Homes supplemental funding to address other health or safety related hazards in the building apart from the possible lead hazard issues.
- Outreach, education, and lead-safety training is conducted across the state to help raise awareness and understanding of the dangers of lead-based paint.
For more information and to apply, simply contact the Intake Specialist for your county listed below. They can assist with the application process and determining eligibility.
Program Intake Coordinator
Urban Programs Department
New Hampshire Statewide
603-404-2306 or 603-216-2177
What are the basic requirements for the program?
- All tenants and/or owner occupied units must meet income requirements (gross income for all persons 18 and over must be 80% or less of the household median income for the county based on number of unit occupants). CLICK HERE for current HUD income limits.
- The property must have been built prior to 1978.
- Only the owner of the property may apply.
- Buildings must be residential rentals, either owner-occupied or tenant-occupied, and can be multi-family or single family housing. Commercial spaces or zero-bedroom units are not permitted.
- Owner-occupied units must have a child under 6 years of age in residence.
Why do you need income documentation?
- These grant funds can only be used for low-income families. The Lead Hazard Control Program must document that a household is eligible before funding is provided and back-up documentation is required to show the funds were used in the way they were intended.
Once I apply am I under any obligation to continue?
- No, you are not under obligation to continue. You may choose to end the process at any point up until a contract is signed.
Will I or my tenants have to relocate during the lead remediation work?
- For most projects, this is will be necessary. Lead is a toxic, hazardous metal and, for the safety of your family and/or your tenants, residents cannot be present while the unit is being remediated.
How long does the program take?
- This depends on many factors including how big the building is, how many hazards are found that need to be corrected, and how difficult it may be to secure the owner portion of the funding. On average, the program goal is to have any single rental unit take no more than 10 days to complete to minimize the relocation time of the tenants. However, from start to finish, it can take anywhere from 2-4 months to receive a ‘lead-safe’ certificate. Also, applications where children with elevated blood-lead levels reside will almost always be prioritized over other applications. This can delay the application process for buildings that are not currently under order.
Can I perform my own work on the building or home?
- No, HUD does not allow owners to perform their own lead remediation work with these funds, even if you are a licensed lead abatement contractor.
For other general program questions please contact LeadProgram@nhhfa.org
The Lead-Safe Housing Registry is a listing of single/multi-family homes, duplexes, and apartments that were assisted under New Hampshire Housing’s Lead Grant Program. Lead remediation was performed on these units and were deemed ‘lead safe’ at the time of their clearance inspection. CLICK HERE for our complete Lead-Safe Unit listing (2008–present).
- New Hampshire “One-Touch” Healthy Homes Brochure
- A Community of Action for Lead Safety
- Renovate Right Pamphlet
- Protect Your Family from Lead
- Environmental Protection Agency
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
- Huffington Post – (Lead) Knowing of Its Toxic Dangers
- Drs. Oz & Roizen on lead exposure: The problem has not gone away
- January 11, 2012 article from Seacoastonline.com: “EPA: Lead in shipyard housing jeopardized military families”
- NHPR – Childhood Lead Poisoning
- Lead Paint Poses Hidden Danger, Foster’s Daily Democrat April 1, 2013
VIDEOS OF INTEREST
- MisLEAD – America’s Secret Epidemic: New documentary film about childhood lead poisoning in America.
- TED Talks – Ralph Spezio: Former Rochester Principal Ralph Spezio speaks of his experience with lead poisoned students in his school, particularly in the ‘Special Education’ program.
- Sesame Street “Lead Away!”
- Sesame Street “Lead Police”
Paul Chalifour, Program Manager, Lead & Healthy Homes
Gloria Paradise, Director, Housing Grants
Why is lead removal important?
With their growing bodies and developing brains, children are susceptible to lead poisoning. Hundreds of New Hampshire children are poisoned by lead every year. The long-term health effects of lead poisoning can be severe. Unborn children can also be poisoned if pregnant women are exposed to lead dust.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Funding for the Lead Hazard Control Program is provided by HUD to help keep children and families safe from toxic lead paint. The grant period began January 1, 2018 and continues through December 31, 2020.