Grant directed at lead abatement in southeastern Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health will use a $3.3 million federal grant to minimize lead hazards in older homes across the state’s southeastern region.

Southeastern Minnesota has higher rates of elevated lead levels in children compared to other parts of the state, according to health officials.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant will help low-income families rehabilitate older homes that still have lead-based paint.

“Lead-based paint in older homes remains the single greatest cause of elevated lead levels in Minnesota children,” said Stephanie Yendell, the health department’s lead poisoning prevention program supervisor. “Addressing sources of lead and other household hazards in homes in this region will go a long way toward protecting the health of children for years to come.”

The health department will partner with the cities of Rochester and Winona, as well as community organizations in a dozen counties.

The grant will allow for lead abatement in 151 homes, 31 of which are in Rochester.