(WMAR) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded more than $1 million to two public housing authorities in Maryland.
The funds will be used to identify and reduce paint hazards in older public housing units that can lead to lead risks. A total of $898,750 will be given to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and $166,976 will be awarded to the Housing Authority of the City of Cumberland.
“We have no higher calling than to make certain the public housing that taxpayers support is healthy for our vulnerable families to live in,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “As a doctor who treated many young children, I witnessed the close connection between health and housing. Today, we make another critical investment in the futures of young children growing up in public housing.”
HUD will also award $330 million later this year to clean up lead-based paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned low-income housing.
According to the U.S. Department of HUD, lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and can even be deadly.