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Some Mississippians Qualify for a Lead Safe Housing Program

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Some Mississippians Qualify for a Lead Safe Housing Program
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(FIle) Lead-Based Paint Work Zone
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Low-income Mississippians who live in homes with lead-based paint might be able to receive repairs through a lead safe housing program. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

The city of Jackson was the first in the state to receive funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program. Yazoo City and Greenwood are also working with the program through the state of Mississippi. In Jackson, residents living in homes that were built before 1978 or homes where young children under six-years-old or pregnant women reside might qualify for the Lead Safe Jackson Housing Program. Valerie Tucker is with the city of Jackson. She says children can be negatively impacted by living in lead-based paint environments.

"The number one thing that exposure to lead does for a child is it effects its developmental growth," said Tucker. "It has some effects on the behavior and some effects on the child's ability to learn."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, today at least 4 million households have children that are being exposed to high levels of lead.

Jonnette Simmons is with HUD. She talks about what kind of work could be included in the process.

"They're identifying those lead hazard and they're addressing those lead hazards through repairs such as repairs of doors, windows that cause lead exposure and lead poisoning," said Simmons. "Once they identify the hazards they'll make those repairs and they'll make those homes lead safe and healthy."

Residents who want more information on lead safe housing programs can contact their city officials.