Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Barrett Proposes $2.2 Million in Block Grant Funds for Lead Abatement

“We will continue to act proactively to reduce the number of Milwaukee children with lead poisoning.”

By - Dec 4th, 2019 10:50 am

MILWAUKEE— On December 1, 2019 Mayor Tom Barrett announced a portion of his proposed allocation of 2020 Community Development Block Grant funding. The proposal includes $2.2 million for lead abatement.

This funding provides the matching requirements for the $5.6 million Lead and Healthy Homes grant the City was awarded in October by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In addition to the $21 million allocated to lead in the 2020 City budget, the Mayor’s proposed Block Grant funding will help protect Milwaukee families from the hazards of lead. The $2.2 million, allocated to the City’s Health Department, will help prepare 30 individuals with training and certification and provide an additional 40 homes with full lead abatement.

Since 2004, Mayor Tom Barrett has allocated over $66 million in funding toward lead abatement, leading to a 70 percent reduction in the number of Milwaukee children with lead poisoning.

“This funding allows us to continue to do the work that we have been doing for years,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “We will continue to act proactively to reduce the number of Milwaukee children with lead poisoning.”

With the support of community partners, parents and physicians, the City continues its fight to end lead poisoning in Milwaukee. Organizations like the Social Development Commission and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers support the City’s efforts by building awareness and educating residents on the issue of lead.

“This is an important issue for SDC,” Social Development Commission CEO George Hinton says. “We’re a community action agency committed to empowering people with resources to move beyond poverty. The lead issue tends to impact people in poverty.  For us, this is a huge opportunity to address an issue that is threatening our community.”

“SDC has been a partner with the City for a long time on the lead abatement process. We’re also now engaged in some of the outreach efforts,” Hinton says. “With several of our programs, we’re already inside affected homes. This enables us to engage and educate local residents. We look forward to working with the City.”

The entirety of the proposed Block Grant allocation will be heard by the Common Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee this week, and be voted on by the full Council on December 17.

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