October 2, 2020, Newport, NH: Sullivan County was recently notified it has been awarded $1,703,524 from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to eliminate lead-based paint hazards for low income families. The County was one of 15 first-time recipients of this funding. In all, there were 44 grants approved and a total of nearly $165 million.
The funding is comprised of two sources: $1,303,524 is for lead hazards and $400,000 is from the “healthy homes” program which will provide flexibility to address other health & safety deficiencies that are unrelated to lead hazards. The County will have 42 months to do the work.
According to Sullivan County Manager Derek Ferland, “This is outstanding news for Sullivan County and we look forward to making a positive impact in our communities by protecting families—especially those with young children. The City of Claremont has demonstrated tremendous leadership on this issue and we are pleased to partner with them to obtain these resources.”
This grant caps off a multi-year effort of a partnership comprised of the Claremont Lead Action Team, the Greater Sullivan County Regional Public Health Network, and Sullivan County. This group has been working together to develop new approaches to combat childhood lead poisoning and improve the county’s housing stock. A planning grant that was awarded to Dartmouth-Hitchcock from the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program of NH Department of Health and Human Services helped the team evaluate existing lead abatement programs. As a result of that effort, the group determined a large HUD grant was the best way to make meaningful progress to eradicate lead hazards.
Over 80 percent of homes in Sullivan County were built prior to 1978, which was the year lead-based paint was banned in the United States.
Sullivan County’s staff will lead the next steps which include hiring a program manager and certified lead inspector to oversee the program. Once on board, they will process applications and coordinate with qualified contractors to do the work. In the meantime, interested homeowners, landlords, tenants, or contractors should contact Sullivan County.
Press Release Contact:
Derek Ferland, County Manager