The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation has announced a $5 million grant to the Lead Safe Home Fund, a public-private partnership that will provide families and property owners in Cleveland with the resources they need to ensure their homes are lead-safe.
Administered by CHN Housing Partners and Environmental Health Watch, the fund is the centerpiece initiative of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, which is working to accelerate implementation of a local 2019 ordinance requiring rental units in the city built before 1978 to be certified as lead-safe by March 2021. To that end, the fund will provide a range of home loans and grants to property owners in the city and will provide knowledge resources in the areas of system navigation, workforce development, and resident services. In addition to the foundation's commitment, the fund, which expects to deploy nearly $100 million over five years, has received investments from the City of Cleveland and state of Ohio, bringing total funding for the effort to $18 million.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic forces us to shelter in place, we are reminded how important a safe and decent home is," said Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation president Mitchell Balk, who also chairs the governance committee of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition. "All children, no matter their backgrounds, should be afforded every opportunity to live up to their fullest potential. Lead poisoning is an issue of equity, and now is the time to invest in this most basic human need for children today and into the future."