91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Grand Rapids gets grant to help rid homes of lead paint

Peeling lead paint.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Some Grand Rapids homes are about to get a lot safer.

The city is among 23 state and local agencies across the country to receive Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Lead paint has been banned from use in housing since 1978, but it's still on the walls and woodwork in many older Michigan homes.

"It was marketed as 'the good paint', so if you cared about your home, then you used it," said Doug Stek, who directs hazard control projects for the City of Grand Rapids.

Now, it's widely known that lead exposure poses a health major risk, especially for children.

"The paint gets old and it chips, peels, scrapes, falls off. It gets onto the floors and children, particularly [ages] one and two, are crawling around on that," Stek said.

Stek says most of the $2.9 million grant awarded to Grand Rapids will go go toward lead mitigation for 150 low-income homes.

The grant could also mean jobs for some. Stek says the city will need to hire more than 100 contractors to assist with the effort.

Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
Related Content