Borough partners with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health to promote public health initiative, part of health system’s $50M investment in Lancaster County
COLUMBIA – October 5, 2021 – Columbia Borough residents can take advantage of a decade-long investment in testing for and remediating lead paint in their homes, thanks to a public health initiative.
Lead-Free Families is the first comprehensive childhood lead poisoning prevention program in the nation to be funded entirely by a health system. The initiative aims to create a pathway to eliminate childhood lead poisoning across Lancaster County.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health recently committed to investing $50 million over 10 years to identify and remediate lead health hazards in at least 2,800 homes across the county.
“We hope residents across Columbia and Lancaster County, especially those with children, will sign up for this important opportunity to protect themselves and their families,” said Heather Zink, Columbia Borough Council president. “We’re grateful to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health for funding this critical initiative.”
In Columbia, nearly 75 percent of the homes were built before the 1978 ban on lead-based paint. Countywide, it is estimated that about 91,000 Lancaster County homes have lead hazards, often from lead-based paint.
The Lead-Free Families program offers free remediation through grants for income-qualified households – defined as families or households earning 400 percent of the federal poverty level or less. This means a household of four people making $106,000 or less in combined annual income would qualify.
Landlords interested in participating in the program will pay only 10 percent of remediation costs if lead proves to be an issue at any of their properties. The average cost of lead remediation is $12,500, according to program officials.
Qualifying borough residents and property owners are encouraged to apply to the program online or they contact the program team at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health by phone at 717-544-LEAD (5323). To learn more, emails can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.lancastergeneralhealth.org/services-and-treatments/community-health/community-programs/lead-free-families/about-lead-free-families.