The City of Tuscaloosa Lead Hazard Abatement Program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) and the City of Tuscaloosa. The purpose of the Lead Hazard Abatement Program is to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned rental and owner-occupied housing.
If your home was built prior to 1978 and a child under the age of 6 resides or spends any time at your home, that child may be exposed to lead-based paint hazards and at the risk of being lead poisoned. Also if you are pregnant and live in a home that was built before 1978, your unborn child may be exposed to lead-based paint hazards and at the risk of being lead poisoned. The Lead Hazard Abatement Program provides free assistance to homeowners, landlords, and tenants who want to protect themselves and their family from lead-based paint hazards.
The current grant period of performance is January 2, 2020, through July 30, 2024. The goal for the Lead Hazard Abatement Program is to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in 125 pre-1978 residential units within the City Limits of Tuscaloosa with priority given to units occupied by a child under the age of 6 with an Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL).
The Lead Hazard Abatement Program assists homeowners and landlords who can meet the following qualifications:
- The unit must be located within the City of Tuscaloosa
- The unit must have been built prior to 1978
- Owner-Occupied units must have one of the following:
- a child under the age of 6 who resides in the unit, or
- a child under the age of 6 who spends a “significant amount of time” in the unit, or
- a pregnant woman who resides in the unit
- Rental units do not require a qualifying child occupant at the time of assistance. The landlord must agree to give priority to lower income families with children under the age of 6 when renting for 3 years following the completion of lead abatement activities. Vacant Rental units are eligible for assistance as well.
- Total household income must be below 80% of Area Median Income for homeowners and below 50% of Area Median Income for renters
Once admitted to the program, children under 6 will have the opportunity to get a free lead blood test. The units associated with a EBLL child will be given first priority in the program.
Too see if you qualify complete the Pre-Screening Questionnaire.
Annual Household Income
Maximum Annual Income
Income Limits are subject to change
How The Program Works
The Lead Hazard Abatement Program offers grants to help remediate lead-based paint hazards in Tuscaloosa homes. This program is available to home owners and rental property owners who meet qualification criteria. Those who qualify may receive repairs designed to remediate lead-based paint hazards. Repairs may include replacing old wooden windows with new vinyl windows, vinyl siding and aluminum trim, covering porch floors and ceilings, and fresh paint!
A certified Lead-Based Paint Inspector/Risk Assessor will perform a non-invasive test of the property and identify lead paint hazards. The cost of this test is covered by the program. The resulting report will contain recommendations that will guide the work to be performed at your home. Your project will be assigned to a qualified general contractor that is certified as a State of Alabama Lead Abatement Firm. These contractors are licensed, insured and experienced in the lead hazard control industry.
During work, specially trained and State Certified Lead Abatement Supervisors and Workers will make repairs using lead safe work practices including the setting up of containment areas that will keep lead dust from spreading throughout your home. After work is completed they will utilize specialty cleaning methods to remove lead dust that remains. Depending on where lead hazards are found, there may be several rooms that you will not have access to during the work. If you can’t have access to a sleeping area, bathroom and cooking area you will be asked to relocate temporarily to a lead-safe unit for 5-7 days.
At the end of work, a Clearance Test is performed by a third-party inspector. This test consists of lab-analyzed dust wipes and a visual inspection that determine whether the work areas are safe to re-occupy. Once the passing results are received, you may re-occupy areas of work. Program Staff will also monitor and inspect work to ensure safety, proper installation of items and quality of work.
Dangers of Lead Based Paint Hazards
What is Lead?
Lead is a dense metallic naturally occurring mineral that has no benefit to the human body. Lead's high density, low melting point, ductility and relative inertness to oxidation make it useful. These properties, combined with its relative abundance and low cost, resulted in its extensive use in construction, plumbing, batteries, bullets and shot, weights, solders, pewters, fusible alloys, white paints, leaded gasoline, and radiation shielding. While lead based paint and leaded gasoline were taken out of production in North America and Europe over 40 years ago, some countries still produce things like toys that have lead based paints.
What is a Lead Hazard?
If your home was built prior 1978, it could contain lead-based paint. The older your home, the greater the chances of having lead-based paint or high levels of lead dust. Lead-based paint that is in poor condition and peeling, crackled, chipping, chalking or applied to friction and impact surfaces (such as windows and doors) can create a Lead Hazard. Lead dust and lead contaminated soils are also considered Lead Hazards.
How do you get lead poisoning?
Lead enters your body each time you inhale leaded fumes or dust, or swallow something that contains lead. If you are exposed to small amounts of lead over time or one large dose, your body may take in more lead than it can clean out. Lead poisoning is a disease that occurs when too much lead builds up in the body.
How does lead harm the body?
Lead can harm both children and adults. Many times there are no symptoms until the health problems are very serious. Usually people who are lead poisoned do not seem to be sick. Lead can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage in adults. When young children are exposed to lead, they are at risk for: brain and nervous system damage, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problem and hearing and speech problems. Common symptoms of lead poisoning include: no desire to eat food, damage to IQ, damage to brain and nervous system, damage to kidneys, headaches, lack of energy, constipation, and stomach cramps.
Who is at risk?
Children under the age of 6 who spend time in homes built before 1978, with chipping or peeling paint, are at greatest risk. Adults who work with lead on the job are also at high risk. This can include painters, remodelers, or workers in smelters or battery plants. People remodeling their homes may also be at risk, if the paint in the home has lead in it. Family members can also become lead poisoned while the lead-based paint is being removed from the home, if the work is not done properly. Lead was allowed in household paint until 1978. The older your home is, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint. Paints containing up to 50 percent lead were used on the inside and outside of homes through the 1950s. A pregnant or nursing woman's exposure to lead can harm her unborn baby or child.
6 Ways to Stay Lead Safe
- Get your home checked for lead hazards.
- Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often
- NEVER let children play near or eat peeling paint chips
- Keep your home clean and dust-free. Wipe with a wet sponge around painted areas where friction can generate dust, such as doors, windows, and drawers
- For home repairs only hire Lead Certified contractors
- Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
The Program seeks to provide training, employment, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by this program to low- and very-low income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons in the Tuscaloosa area.