Behind the Headlines of $127 Million in HUD Grant Money

by WOHe

This week we’ve seen headlines announcing the awarding of $127 million in HUD grant money for 48 local projects aimed at lead cleanup, worker training, and increased public awareness.

Understandably, this information captures the attention of contractors, especially when considering the cost of training employees, becoming registered as a  Lead-Safe certified firm, and wanting to refer customers in finding assistance to pay for renovation projects and lead removal.

It is worth the time to look behind the headlines when it comes to looking into grant money availability.

These grants have been awarded to government entities in various communities for specific usage.  Each grant differs in its scope and amount, so it is important to research each grant in your area.

As an example, one headline notes “Saginaw receives $3.1 million in lead paint-fighting grant.”   Missing from the article are details of the grant.  Some of those details can be found in the “HUD Complete Individual Project Summaries” http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=fy2010projectdescriptions.pdf 

This HUD document provides a summary and contact information for all the grants provided under this funding initiative.  In regards to the Saginaw grant, Saginaw county will receive grant money that breaks down to $3 million in Lead Hazard Control funds and $100,000 to promote Healthy Homes Program.  The county notes that it will use the funds to “evaluate 300 homes for lead and healthy homes hazards, conduct outreach and education to at least 5,063 individuals and 100 community events, and provide training for 125 individuals.” 

Does that mean you can give a quick call, fill out a form, and get paid to evaluate a home or train an employee?  Not quite.  Just like all grantees we contacted, the mechanism to disperse the funds will not be in place until mid-February, at the earliest. 

Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the qualifying criteria in these grants.  For example, the grant provided to the City of Dubuque, Iowa is focused on units located in a specific target area within the City of Dubuque and emphasizes homes with children under the age of six with tenants/owners who meet certain income qualifications. The training will probably be handled through the Iowa Bureau of Economic Development, and will apply to training beyond RRP. 

It would be wise to carefully read the grant details that are available right now by the link provided above.  Keep in mind that the details and distribution mechanism for grant money needs to be determined in each community before the funds can begin to be dispersed.

Keep our site bookmarked for updated information.

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