Baltimore County is offering home improvement grants that will result in a win-win-win for area children, property owners and neighborhoods.
The Lead Safe Baltimore County grant program is funded to reduce lead hazards in 250 houses across the county in targeted neighborhood improvement ZIP codes, including 21222 and 21224.
The Dundalk Renaissance Corp. is helping to promote the grant program throughout the Dundalk area.
Lead abatement funds are available to homeowners or tenants who meet income guidelines and have a child under the age of 6 who lives in the home or visits regularly, according to DRC officials.
County children will be protected from lead poisoning; the homeowner's property will receive substantial upgrades (such as new windows and exterior doors) and the neighborhood will have an improved housing stock—with upgrades visible from the street—that help stabilize and boost property values for nearby homes as well, DRC officials said.
Through the program, houses will be inspected by county workers and features found to contain lead hazards will be removed and replaced.
The program also includes outreach and educational components addressing lead hazards that affect communities with housing built before 1978.
In addition to having at least one child under age 6, families must also meet HUD income requirements to be eligible for the program.
Selected houses or apartments must have at least one bedroom and be found to contain a lead hazard.
Lead cleaning kits and HEPA vacuum loaners are also available through the DRC, which has been funded by Baltimore County to conduct lead safety outreach and education.
The organization is offering a free lead cleaning kit that includes two buckets, a mop and mop replacement head, a sponge, rubber gloves, cleaner and instructions on how to properly use the kit.
Residents can also borrow one of three HEPA vacuum cleaners available through the DRC. The vacuum's filter system makes it a good tool to reduce lead dust in a home, DRC officials said.
To apply for the grant, call Baltimore County, 410-887-3668; visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/lead; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive a free lead cleaning kit or borrow a HEPA vacuum cleaner, call the DRC, 410-282-0261, or stop by its office at 11 Center Place.