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Grant allows housing authority to remove lead paint

A housing authority complex in the Tri-States is now able to make their housing units more safe. The issue is lead-based paint and a federal grant is allowing the Quincy Housing Authority to fix the problem.

There are two housing authority complexes in Quincy that have lead-based paint. Officials said it’s been a problem they’ve been trying to fix for years. Now that they have the money, they are making an effort to make it a healthy living environment.

Frances Elston lives in the Frederick Ball Housing Authority and says she doesn’t want her grandchildren to come over because she’s afraid they’ll be exposed to the lead-based paint around her home.

"She comes over every day and I have to watch her around that paint that’s chipping," Elston said. 

According to CDC, lead-poisoning can lead to long-lasting health problems. It’s a scary thought for Elston as she’s had lead-based paint in her home at the Frederick Ball Housing Authority complex in Quincy. She’s been fighting the problem ever since she moved into the housing authority, more than 20 years ago.

"The paint that they have out here, it ain’t right," Elston said. "It chips. When I had my grandkids, I was raising them and I was worrying about it. Now, my great grandkids are coming around it. I don’t want them getting sick."

But, Elston won’t have to worry about the lead-based paint in her home for much longer, after the Quincy Housing Authority received a one million dollar federal grant to fix lead-based paint in its 259 housing units.

"The goal is to just get rid of all of it," Quincy Housing Authority Executive Director Jerry Gille said. "We’re not even interested in covering it. You know, for years, the process has been just to cover it up so the kids can’t get to it. Now, we want it all out." 

The grant will allow the units to be tested. That hasn’t happened since 1994 and then the lead will be completely removed. Officials said lead is common around the doors and windows. Places residents see pealing paint on and want to see fixed, sooner than later.

"Get it fixed then," Elston said. "I mean, get it fixed. This whole complex, over here. I live over here, it needs painting."

Officials said they plan to start testing all of the units early next year and hope to have all of the lead removed in the next four years. Right now, they don’t know how far the one million dollars will go.



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