New grant to help remove lead based paints from Fresno County homes.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --

A new $1,000,000 grant will help Fresno County clean up homes that have lead paint.

The areas of Southeast and Southwest Fresno are a high risk because of houses built before 1978.

One house in Southeast Fresno is the first of many to receive a makeover that will protect residents from lead-based paints.

"There is a very detailed inspection of each house, each wall, each trim piece is tested to make sure where the lead is," said Wayne Fox, Fresno County Health Department.

Wednesday afternoon Fresno County and City leaders teamed up to accept a $1,000,000 grant under the Lead Hazard Control Program.

Fox says homes built before 1978 have a high probability of having lead paint especially on the outside of walls of the home.

"So they will scrape off any loose paint. They will put on a primer coat and a cover coat so it will create a barrier with the lead paint and with the new paint it makes it safe," he said.

A cover and wood chips will be placed to protect residents from lead in the ground outside their home.

Fresno County will be able to clean-up 65 homes that have lead-based paints.

Fifth-teen homes are in the application process to remove lead-based paint under this new program but Fresno County leaders know there are many more homes out there.

"We've always been aware of it. Especially of course in the older neighborhoods that we have in Fresno County and so it has always been a struggle to try to get it cleaned up," said Sal Quintero, Fresno County Supervisor.

Health officials say low-income homes with children under the age of six are at the greatest risk for exposure to lead paint and that could impact their behavior in the classroom.

"Often times we usually respond to children that tested positive for lead. But this is actually being proactive. We've done a lot of outreach in our community. We're going to work with our schools as well to make sure we get the word out," said Luis Chavez, Fresno City Council.

Homeowners or renters can apply by calling 600 - 3357 or apply through the Fresno County's health department's website.
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