COVINGTON, Ky. — A northern Kentucky city is easing the process for removing lead-based paint from some older properties.
Many people live in or are working to restore older homes and apartments in Covington, where the threat of lead-based paint is much higher compared to newer homes.
On Thursday, Covington officials said they are ready to roll out a new program to assist with the removal of lead-based paint from about 60 homes or apartments over the next three years.
"Lead is a real problem, but it's difficult to get people to understand the risks, since the symptoms of lead poisoning show up over time," said City Housing Development Specialist Archie Ice II.
The city is looking for homes for Covington’s first-ever Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program. The city received $1.66 million from the federal government to make the program possible.
The use of lead-based paint in homes was outlawed in 1978 after health professionals warned that breathing its dust or swallowing tiny chips of paint could cause damage to the brain and other organs — especially for young children.
"If you take these steps now, your children won't be put at risk," Ice said.
Through the program, an inspector will test a home for lead. If detected, contractors will remove and replace the lead-painted part of the house in about ten days.
Homes in which children are already suffering from lead poisoning will be given top priority, according to Federal Grants Manager Jeremy Wallace.
Units eligible for the program can be owned, rented or vacant. They must be located in Covington and must have been built prior to 1978.
The application must be submitted by the property owner but a tenant can bring a property to the attention of city officials.
Click here to view the application packet and guidelines. Applications can also be picked up at City Hall located at 20 West Pike St.
Covington is the only local community awarded money for the lead program in Kentucky.