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Health Department Gets $3 Million In Stimulus For Lead Abatement


Kansas City, MO – A local health program has received a much needed boost from the federal government's most recent wave of stimulus money. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.

For more than a decade, Project Lead-Safe has removed lead from thousands of properties throughout Kansas City. Bert Malone oversees the program and says it's recently been at risk of closing. He says that's because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ran out of money last fall and wasn't able to fund the program's already approved grant for this year. But that situation's now changed. The Kansas City Health Department is scheduled to receive three million dollars in stimulus money this month to maintain the program for the next three years. Malone says the award is important because lead continues to be a major problem.

Malone: We estimate there's as many as 1500 children in the city of Kansas City under the age of 6 that are impacted by lead - that is, have significant developmental delays due to the lead that they've ingested.

Malone says the stimulus money will also allow the department to expand the program and remove lead from ten to fifteen percent more homes each year.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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