Owners of eligible houses and apartments that contain lead-based paints will be able to get assistance in removing the paint under the new Lead Safe/Healthy Homes program.
The program is intended to eliminate the hazard that lead-base paints present to children under six, who can ingest paint chips or lead-contaminated dust. Lead poisoning can damage the brain and the nervous system, and small children are more vulnerable to its effects because their growing bodies readily absorb lead.
Lead was banned from house paints in 1978, but houses and apartments built before that year frequently used lead paint because of its durability.
In November the city accepted a $2.07 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a three-year program to eliminate lead-based paints in the community.
The Lead Safe/Healthy Homes program includes screening and testing, assistance in removing lead-based paints and outreach and education about the dangers of lead-based paints. The project will also establish Winston-Salem’s first Lead Safe Home registry.
City officials are partnering with the Forsyth County Health Department, the Winston-Salem State University Center for Community Safety, Hispanic Interaction, C.H.A.N.G.E. and Imprints to implement the program.
Assistance is available for housing (both rental and owner-occupied) whose occupants have an income of 50 percent to 80 percent of the average median income in this area.
Residents interested in the program should contact Neighborhood Services by calling City Link at 727-8000.