Despite lead paint being banned for residential use more than forty years ago, lead paint still exists in many older homes in Ohio and the nation. Lead paint is particularly dangerous to young children and pregnant women. When the paint begins to peel, chip or dust, children ages six and younger who ingest or inhale the chemical are more likely to experience developmental problems. Lead exposure, as small as a single grain of sugar per day, can lead to traumatic health outcomes for children and families.
In Ohio, the problem is particularly significant in Toledo. The majority of Toledo's housing stock was built before 1978, the year lead was banned as an ingredient in paint. Every year, hundreds of Toledo children test high for lead in their blood, all but guaranteeing that many of them will experience significant challenges as they age.
Keep in mind, there is no safe level of lead in the bloodstream. And, although some treatments are available, there is no cure for lead poisoning.
OHFA and Huntington National Bank are partnering for a limited time to offer qualifying Toledo homeowners low-interest home repair loans to help pay the costs to make their homes Lead Safe.
Lead Safe means making sure a home does not pose a lead risk. When lead hazards are controlled so they fall beneath the level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Loans can range between $4,000 and $15,000. The money can be used for inspections, repainting, treatment to minimize friction or prevent impact, specialized cleaning, relocation expenses and more.
Interest rates depend on the borrower's income level; the program uses the area median income to determine the interest rate. Payments will be made monthly for a 10 to 20 year period depending on loan amount and the borrower's income.
The program is limited to Toledo homes and residents. Several Huntington branches in Toledo are participating in the program, which is available until December 31, 2021.
To look up eligible Census tracts and find out more program details, including income requirements and a list of participating banks, visit the OHFA Lead Paint Safe Pilot Loan Program online.