Waterloo awarded $2.9 million grant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo awarded $2.9 million grant

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

An eastern Iowa city will get millions of dollars to help get rid of home hazards.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving the City of Waterloo $2.9 million to help protect families from things like lead and radon.

Community leaders say they're excited about the news, and they're now busy mapping out a nearly 3-year timeline.

The goal is to retrofit older homes and make them safer for low-income families.

"So, the city of Waterloo is serious about this issue, and we are grateful the many partners in this endeavor," Mayor Quentin Hart said.

Mayor Hart said he's excited to partner with several groups like Waterloo Fire Rescue, Black Hawk County Health Department, Hazardous Materials Training Center, Black Hawk Landlords, Operation Threshold, A Community Action Agency, the YWCA/Multi-cultural Center, Tri-County Head Start, Peoples Health Clinic, and the Waterloo Housing Authority for assistance with education and outreach programming.

Black Hawk Landlords President Sue Schauls wrote a letter to support the grant last year, and she said she was surprised Waterloo qualified, especially with the recent change in administration at the national level.

"Three-year funding and at that level is just great, and being able to include landlords in that project is just a win-win for everyone," Schauls said.

All homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint, and what this grant will do is help remove and repair chipping paint ultimately making it safer for tenants.

"It could be single moms with children who don't have the resources, time or knowledge to be looking to these hidden hazards. This is going to be a good opportunity for the landlords to work closely with community development to help out advocate on behalf of their tenants," Schauls said.

According to the grant, the city will also partner with Waterloo firefighters to help reduce radon levels in homes.

Right now, community leaders are in the process of deciding which homes to work on first, and they hope to start working on homes by next spring.

If you have any questions about the project, you can contact Waterloo Community Development Director Rudy Jones at Rudy.Jones@Waterloo-IA.org.  

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