MINNEAPOLIS — An eastern Minnesota county has received additional federal grant money to help residents remove lead paint in their homes.

Hennepin County is receiving $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Minnesota Public Radio reported .

The county will use the money to fund grants to help low and moderate-income families living in the Twin Cities area get rid of lead paint in their homes. Families with children under the age of 6 will be given priority.

“At times over the years we’ve had a long waiting list, but right now we actually don’t,” said Michael Jensen, lead abatement program manager for Hennepin County. “It’s about 3 weeks to a month long. So, we are actively looking for families to enroll in the program.”

Apartment owners are required to provide matching funds, but homeowners aren’t required to match the funds.

The grants typically cover window replacement, which generally cost about $7,500. Temporary housing assistance is also available.

Most homes built before 1940 have lead paint, Jensen said.

The county has received more than $30 million in federal grant money since 2003 to help with lead paint removal. The money has been used to test more than 5,500 housing units, the county said.

Nearly 400 children in the county had blood lead levels high enough to damage their health last year.

Young children can suffer brain and nerve damage if exposed to lead paint. It can also cause learning or behavior problems.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org