Evanston residents living in homes built prior to 1978, who have a child six years of age or younger or babysit/have young visitors in their homes are eligible to join a free lead removal program funded through a four year grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Evanston Housing and Human Services Department is partnering with the Cook County Department of Public Health on the program. Participants are also eligible if they have an income that is below 80% of area median income based on family size.
Renters are also free to apply but further documentation and approval by the landlord will be needed.
Necessary work to remove lead in homes varies based on the property but can include replacement of windows and repainting of interior or exterior surfaces, according to a news release from the city. All work will be completed by a lead abatement contractor.
The dangers of long term lead exposure vary but include low IQ and stunted growth in children as well as kidney, stomach and fertility issues according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC says children in general are more impacted by lead exposure.
Exposure most often comes in the form of lead paint according to the City of Evanston website but children can also be exposed through dust from a parent or guardian’s occupation, imported products, hobbies such as poetry glazing and contaminated drinking water.
Issues with mold and carbon monoxide can also be addressed if necessary.
To apply for the program, visit cityofevanston.org/leadhazard to complete a short survey available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Arabic.