Families at risk from lead poisoning at rental properties
Families at risk from lead poisoning at rental properties

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Millions will be spent this year on rehab and lead abatement.

Communities throughout the State of Michigan are facing significant challenges finding contractors to make homes lead safe for kids. In Calhoun County over $2.5 million a year is allocated to lead remediation, resulting in roughly $2 million in construction contracts.

Capable, qualified contractors are one of our most important assets in meeting these challenges.

Contruction Contract Amounts Graph

How long will these programs last?

The City and its partners, Community Action and Neighborhoods Inc. of Battle Creek, plan to manage lead remediation work for many years.

Remediation is currently funded by two grants and are part of a long-term collaborative strategy to reduce the harmful impacts of lead on children. One grant is Medicaid funded for $7.5 million over five years, and the other is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for an addtional $3.5 million over 3 years.

Also, the lead paint hazard isn’t going away any time soon. The federal government banned the use of lead in residential paint products in 1978; however, the primary sources of lead exposure for children are still deteriorating lead-based paint and contaminated dust or residential soil.

Map of Calhoun County homes built before 1978 by county municipality

More than 75% of Calhoun County’s housing stock was built before 1978.

Where will the work likely occur?

Both lead control programs are available county-wide. The City of Battle Creek administers the programs within the Battle Creek city limits. Community Action and Neighborhoods Inc. administer the programs throughout the rest of the county.

Program funds are targeted at helping children with lead poisoning and at-risk children first, so much of the funding will be spent on projects in the blue areas indicated on the map. According to a recent study, 42% of all children who tested positive for lead poisoning between 2011 and 2015 lived within these target areas — which make up 1.2% of the land area of Calhoun County.

Target Area map

Why are capable, qualified contractors so important?

One of the most common lead exposure hazards in Calhoun County is during home repair and renovation performed without following proper lead-safe protocols — usually during a property owner’s DIY project. However, sometimes it’s the result of a professional who isn’t properly trained. We are committed to growing the number of contractors working in Calhoun County who are trained and certified in lead abatement. Our lead control programs cover the cost of training and licensure, and in many cases, additional costs such as pollution insurance. Contact us to discuss how we can help your business become part of this growing work.