October 28, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin Announce Over $3 Million in Funding to Prevent Lead Hazards in Winnebago County


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced a $3.4 million federal grant to help the Winnebago County Health Department identify and eliminate lead-based paint hazards in Rockford-area low- and very low-income private housing where children under the age of 6 reside or are likely to reside. This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes’ Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration (LHRD) grant program.

“Federal investments in Winnebago County can help communities like Rockford address the presence of toxic lead in their homes,” said Duckworth.No parent should have to worry if their home is a safe place for their children. I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to help reduce exposure to this dangerous neurotoxin and ensure safe, healthy housing options for all children and families across Illinois.”

“We know the damage lead can do to developing brains, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, can grow up healthy and reach their full potential. Access to safe housing should not be determined by your zip code,” Durbin said. “Senator Duckworth and I will continue fighting for investments like this to help make sure that families in Rockford and throughout Illinois are protected from the threat of lead poisoning.”

The Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration (LHRD) grant program aims to assist local governments, Native American tribes, states and other units of local government in helping identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately-owned rental and owner-occupied housing. The program focuses on jurisdictions with higher numbers of pre-1940 rental housing and higher rates of childhood lead poisoning cases.

In May, Duckworth and Durbin reintroduced the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act, which would require HUD to update its lead poisoning prevention measures to reflect modern science and ensure that families and children living in federally-assisted housing are protected from the devastating consequences of lead poisoning. In July, Duckworth, along with U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI) re-introduced the Get the Lead out of Assisted Housing Act of 2019, legislation that would help protect families from lead exposure by requiring HUD to inspect for lead service lines, create a grant program to address lead contamination and allow a cross-check for lead in water when remediating a home for lead found in paint.