More homeowners will be able to receive help in removing lead-based paint from their homes in Racine County.

A partnership between the cities of Racine and Kenosha has won $3.3 million grant to find and remove hazardous lead-based paint in privately owned rental and owner-occupied housing.

This is the fifth year the partnership between the two communities, called the Kenosha/Racine Lead-Free Communities Partnership, has been awarded this grant. And only 48 of these grants are awarded each year, according to a press release.

Lead poisoning can cause learning delays, behavioral problems, and brain damage.

This year the partnership will continue work in their respective cities that they have undertaken for the  past five years, but will expand out to Racine County. In earlier years, the partnership has conducted 1,448 lead-based paint risk assessments and 1,190 were abated for lead.

“We are delighted to expand this program to include all of Racine County,” stated Dottie-Kay Bowersox, City of Racine Public Health Administrator.

Since its start, the partnership has aimed to protect young children from lead hazards. It targets homes that were built before 1978, which is the year the federal government implemented a ban on all lead-based paint.

With the grant this year, the partnership plans to conduct 300 risk assessments for homes, provide hazard control services for 220 homes, provide job training to 60 residents and do 80 educational outreach events.

A number of agencies and elected officials have the ability to refer homes and families to the partnership.

“Referring families to the K/RLFCP program for removal of lead-based paint hazards in homes resolves the problem rather than only identifying it,” said Gregory Vogel, HUD Program Manager K/RLFCP.”

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.