Harrisburg – April 12, 2018 – Senate Democratic Appropriations chair Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) said today that he was pleased that the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA) has approved a $300,000 grant for the Home Free Lead Remediation Pilot Program.

“The funding will be used as a part of a pilot program to test and remove lead from homes, Hughes said.  “It will markedly improve the lives of those who are impacted.  

“This is a wonderful step in the right direction, but we need to do even more to eradicate lead from homes, schools and our water systems.”

The grant recipient, ACHEIVEability, will use the funding to screen for lead, conduct outreach activities and health referrals in addition to providing relocation and temporary assistance for those affected by lead in their homes.  The funds were approved through PHFA’s PHARE program. 

Hughes has been a strong and steadfast advocate of lead remediation efforts. He and his Senate Democratic colleagues called for creating a statewide task force on lead to ascertain the depth of the problem in Pennsylvania.  The senator also has sponsored legislation to create a Superfund for Lead Abatement that schools, day care centers and other facilities could access to remediate lead. 

In addition, Hughes held information sessions about the dangers of lead exposure and successfully acquired $125,000 to address lead issues in Philadelphia – including funds for the Overbrook Environmental Education Center and $90,000 to remediate lead in homes in Philadelphia. 

“PHFA has stepped up with these funds that will directly impact citizens in communities in Philadelphia,” Hughes said.  “Addressing lead infiltration requires not only remediation efforts, but also education and access to testing and assistance if lead is found.

“The pilot program will have funds for key initiatives and I am hopeful that we can build up from this funding base.”

A 2014 state Department of Health study found that 19 communities in Pennsylvania tested higher than the lead levels in Flint, Michigan, the site of a public health crisis brought on by lead seeping into the city’s water supply. 

PHFA’s PHARE program was established in 2010.