GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A group dedicated to preventing lead poisoning in children is making special funding available to homeowners to help remove lead-based paint from their properties.
Get the Lead Out! was founded 10 years ago as a partnership between the city of Grand Rapids, the Kent County Health Department, the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and the Rental Property Owners Association. Since 2004, the group has made more than 1,350 homes in Grand Rapids lead-safe.
According to the group, the 49507 zip code in Grand Rapids had the highest number of children poisoned with lead in all of Michigan in 2013. Lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage, and poor physical growth and development. It can also lead to learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
Qualified homeowners and landlords can apply for funds -- either zero-percent interest "matching" loans or grants -- for lead abatement. The deadline for applications is December 1.
People living with children ages five or younger in Grand Rapids homes with lead-based paint can apply for the program. Homeowners can get loans of up to $12,000, while rental property owners are eligible for grants of up to $10,000 for the first unit repaired and $4,000 for additional units in the same building.
People can apply at:
- Grand Rapids City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave NW, 4th Floor
- Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller Ave NE
- Healthy Homes Coalition, 742 Franklin St SE
- Most Grand Rapids neighborhood associations
- Online at the Get the Lead Out website
People seeking information about the program can call (616) 456-3030.