The New Jersey Legislature voted $170M to remediate lead paint hazards in homes and apartments across the state as a part of the new State Budget that begins on July 1. Using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), this is a significant step towards ending childhood lead poisoning in New Jersey and making all families “Lead-Safe @ Home”.
With initial disbursements to stand-up infrastructure, recommended workforce development initiatives, and other best practice for lead hazard control, this program is the beginning of the end for lead paint poisoning in New Jersey. Isles estimates that there are at least 250,000 housing units occupied by children with lead paint hazards. An additional $300M in water infrastructure funding also advances New Jersey’s fight to replace lead contaminated water lines.
The NJ Department of Community Affairs will determine how to distribute the funds, but it is expected to train lead inspectors and contractors and provide funds to replace lead painted doors, windows, and wood trim in qualified homes and apartments. Creating new infrastructure, like Lead and Healthy homes Resource Centers, and lead training to quickly scale up our workforce, are needed to both successfully implement the new Lead Safe Certificate law, and to remediate thousands of New Jersey’s lead-burdened homes and apartments.
Isles applauds the leadership of Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin, who partnered with Governor Murphy to create this $170M fund for lead paint work. We salute the many members who spoke passionately from the floor in support of lead hazard clean ups.
“These dollars will make thousands of homes and apartments across our state lead-safe for our children and families,” said Sean Jackson, CEO of Isles, Inc. “We know making these homes safe reduces healthcare costs, improves educational performance, and helps our kids and family succeed. This is an investment that will pay off for our families – and our State.”
For decades, Isles has been at the forefront of advocating for common sense lead policies, removing lead paint from homes and training contractors, home visitors and others to keep kids safe from lead and other environmental health hazards.
“More than a dozen children are still being poisoned by lead every day in New Jersey, and according to the NJ Department of Health, dust from lead-based paint is responsible for at least 75% of those cases. This new funding provides a significant down payment in fulfilling the promise of ending childhood lead poisoning in New Jersey kids, forever,” said Ben Haygood, Isles’ Policy Director.