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Federal Grant Focuses $9.7 Million On Lead Hazards In Glenville

Cleveland will clean up lead hazards in the Glenville neighborhood with the help of a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Regional HUD officials visited Cleveland City Hall on Wednesday to present the city with the award. They’re scheduled to speak Thursday in Akron, which won $4.6 million in grants.

The department will make sure Cleveland spends the money effectively, Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph Galvan said.

“Because every minute, every day, every year that passes is the opportunity to affect children in a negative way,” he said at a news conference. “So the quicker we do this, the faster we get this money out there, the faster we get this remediation, the better off we will all be.”

The grant will help address hazards in an estimated 493 homes. The money is available for lower-income renters and homeowners in four city census tracts in Glenville.

“That creates a larger challenge in some ways, but it also allows us to look at how we can engage the community in a much more focused way,” Community Development Director Tania Menesse said.

The neighborhood is home to larger, older housing stock. According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, 20.4 percent of children tested in 2017 had blood-lead levels higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter, considered the threshold for poisoning. Only one other neighborhood in Cuyahoga County, St. Clair-Superior, had higher rates.

The city will spread the word about the money with help from the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition and neighborhood outreach workers, Menesse said.

“We know that as much as we would love to knock on doors and say, ‘We’re the city of Cleveland, we’re here to help you’,” she said, “sometimes we need people who are not the city of Cleveland to make those engagements.”

The city will perform lead paint risk assessments on properties in the neighborhood, Menesse said. Contractors will perform more intensive lead removal work, such as replacing doors and windows, in homes where children live.

Summit and Cuyahoga counties each won $5.6 million for lead remediation work. Statewide, HUD awarded $44.8 million.

Cleveland lost HUD grant dollars in 2012 after failing to spend the money quickly enough. In the past year, the city has put a new focus on the issue. Council passed a measure this summer requiring lead-safe rental properties.

“I know that HUD has been a great partner, in not only chastising us at times,” Mayor Frank Jackson said, “but also giving us the kind of guidance that we needed to have to stay focused on what we needed to have done.”

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