WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05) announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Minneapolis $5 million in Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding to help low-income families and Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens. With this funding, the City of Minneapolis will improve the safety of 225 homes (both houses and apartments) for low-income families with children.

“Safe and affordable housing is essential for families and the health of our communities,” Klobuchar said. “This funding for Minneapolis will improve living conditions and protect the health of some of our most vulnerable residents.”

“A family should never have to choose between housing and their safety,” Sen. Smith said. “Yet too many homes, especially low-income housing, expose families to lead, which can cause serious and sometimes irreversible health, neurological, and behavioral problems. This is a serious environmental injustice that must be addressed. I'm glad to see funding to help eliminate this preventable housing and health challenge.”

“I’m proud we were able to provide this much-needed funding to Minneapolis,” Omar said. “Lead poisoning disproportionately affects black Minnesotans. North Minneapolis, where most residents are people of color, has the highest rates of lead poisoning among children in the city. This is not only a housing issue. It is a racial justice issue, it’s an environmental justice issue, and it’s long past time we address it.”