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Jackson Fights Lead Hazards in Homes With New Program

Jackson Free Press

Some older Jackson homes with lead-based paint could get a little safer, especially for children, under a new program City leaders announced Monday.

Residents with houses built before 1978 can have their homes tested for lead-based paint, which is known to cause serious health issues, and remedied if necessary under the new Lead Safe Housing Program. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development donated $1.3 million to fund the program.

“This is not an issue for people unless they deal with it, but this can have the absolute worse consequences possible,” Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said in a video of the press conference on Monday.

Mary Manogin, Lead Safe Housing Program director, said the City of Jackson’s Office of Housing and Community Development received funding for the program in October 2016. The program took a little more than a year to get off the ground because they had to learn what was needed so it could function properly, she said.

“Our inspectors were used to testing lead-based paint, but they weren’t familiar with the HUD way,” Manogin told the Jackson Free Press. “They have specific guidelines that we have to follow to conduct the testing.”

She said the 900-page guideline book showed inspectors how a HUD lead-based paint report should be done. The Office of Housing and Community development changed the process for inspecting from using paint chip samples to using an XRF scanner that inspectors apply on painting surfaces for a digital readings. They also established an in-house procedure to make sure inspectors gave accurate reports and provided training for the approved contractors, she said.

“We’ve tested about 70 houses and, of those 70, a little over 30 of them have come back with lead hazards,” Monagin said at the press conference. So it’s really really important that we get the word out, so you can call us and contact us, so we can remediate your home from lead.”

Read the full story in Jackson Free Press

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