ELYRIA, Ohio - When Regina told a friend she was worried that her three children seemed to feel sick quite often, the friend said to have the Lorain County home checked for lead based paint.
Regina was upset the test was positive for lead, but it was the beginning of getting the problem fixed and her worries eased.
Regina applied for the HUD grant through the City of Lorain. The money pays for a contractor to address lead hazards and may include replacing old doors and windows containing lead paint.
In Lorain County, you can request a grant application here .
The friction of opening and closing the old windows and doors stirs up the dangerous dust.
The grant paid to replace her windows and doors and Regina soon noticed an improvement in her children's health.
"I noticed the kids are healthier. We open our windows now. We never used to open the old windows because we were afraid of lead paint dust. I was afraid the kids would get sick. Now that we have a healthy environment, you can't put a price tag on that,' Regina said.
Ninety percent of homes built before 1940 have lead-based paint in them. Eighty percent of homes built before 1960 have lead based paint and many homes built before 1978 also have lead based paint.
It's estimated 36 percent of children live in homes with lead paint, which poses serious health concerns.
But there's a way to get the lead out that many families might not know about.
The city of Lorain and Lorain County were awarded a $2.1 million dollar federal grant a couple of years ago to help homeowners and landlords to remove the lead paint, but half of the money hasn't been touched.
That means there's enough money left for up to 70 more homes to receive the grant throughout Lorain County.
Now, officials are not only trying to get the lead out but get the word out that money remains available for those who meet income requirements.
The grant money pays for lead-based paint dust testing, inspection, health screenings for children and replacement of doors and windows.
After hundreds of children were recently tested for lead-based paint in Lorain, 2.4 percent tested positive for lead poisoning.
Landlords can also apply for loans which will be 100 percent forgiven over a five-year period if the landlord abides by the terms of the loan and the tenants are income qualified.
Lorain County residents can request an application by calling Lines and Associates, Inc at 440-892-7873.
You can also request an application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Babies six months old to children six years of age are especially at risk from lead poisoning because of their rapidly developing bodies.
Health issues include learning disabilities, impaired growth, hearing loss and behavioral problems.
High levels of lead poisoning can cause more serious brain health issues.
Many people believe lead-based paint chips are the biggest issue for kids, but it's actually hard to see lead-based paint dust stirred up every time a door or window is opened and closed, or as paint chips break down.
If you live outside of Lorain County grants might be available in your area.