ARPA Lead Hazard Reduction Project
The City of Milwaukee made a historic investment in lead abatement with the allocation of approximately $25 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the expansion of lead abatement work across Milwaukee. Through this project, the Milwaukee Health Department has a unique opportunity to not only access and abate more properties in a way that will proactively create an increased volume of lead-safe housing stock to benefit children and families across the city, but also set a precedent for long-term success by building a bigger system of partners, organizations, and trained individuals that can work together to create a lead-safe Milwaukee.
In collaboration with partners at the Social Development Commission (SDC), Revitalize Milwaukee, and Habitat for Humanity Milwaukee, this project will primarily focus on providing the following services to lead poisoned children and families:
MHD Nurse case management assigned to higher-priority cases, including home visits, lead hazard education, healthy diet education, developmental and social emotional screenings, clinical care coordination, and phone call check-ins to program beneficiaries. For the most difficult cases, this will also include social worker support.
Lead safe home kits provided to all project beneficiaries.
Kits include cleaning supplies, NSF-certified water filter pitchers, educational materials, and a hands-on lead hazard awareness/reduction training provided by community partners at time of distribution.
Lead Risk Assessment services to address specific areas of concern and hazard within homes.
Lead hazard reduction through lead-certified contractors to all qualified and enrolled program beneficiaries.
The goal of this project is to collectively abate 450 units between March 2022 - September 2024, along with boosting awareness of the dangers of lead poisoning and providing intermediate steps families can take to protect children.
This project aims to serve children living in the city of Milwaukee with blood lead levels above the CDC’s blood level reference value (BLRV).
Blood Lead Level (BLL) testing results from any child living in the city of Milwaukee are uploaded by the child’s primary care provider into the Wisconsin DHS Healthy Homes & Lead Poisoning Surveillance System (HHLPSS). Through this database, MHD is notified when tests return at a level higher than the CDC’s reference point of 3.5 ug/dL. Following notification from DHS, the MHD team processes and refers associated units to community partners.
This is our primary source of referrals for this project, though we may also source referrals from other program denials (such as our existing Lead Hazard Reduction Project funded by HUD, or the WI Lead Safe Homes Program), properties with open orders, or other sources. There is no open application process, so the best way to qualify for this program is to have your children tested by their primary care provider in accordance with our Lead Testing Recommendations.
For more information on the City of Milwaukee's ARPA Expenditures and other projects, please visit the city’s main ARPA Project Page.
This project is a collaborative effort with the following partners:
Social Development Commission (SDC)
Since 1963, the Social Development Commission (SDC) has served as a planner, coordinator, and provider of human service programs for low-income individuals and families in Milwaukee County. For this project, SDC provides enrollment, education, Lead-Based Paint Inspection and Risk Assessment (LIRA), and temporary relocation services, and works with local, trained, and licensed lead abatement contractors to reduce lead hazards.
View their webpage.
Revitalize Milwaukee is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose goal is to reduce social, economic, and environmental disparities by providing free home repairs throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties. For this project Revitalize Milwaukee provides enrollment, education, Lead-Based Paint Inspection and Risk Assessment (LIRA), and temporary relocation services, and works with local, trained, and licensed lead abatement contractors to reduce lead hazards.
View their webpage.
Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity
Together with people in our community, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity helps families build and improve places to call home. For this project Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity provides enrollment, education, Lead-Based Paint Inspection and Risk Assessment (LIRA),and temporary relocation services, and works with local, trained, and licensed lead abatement contractors to reduce lead hazards.
View their webpage.
Employ Milwaukee is the local workforce development board serving Milwaukee County. By convening leaders from business and industry, economic and workforce development, education and training as well as community partners and policy makers, Employ Milwaukee's vision is to develop workforce solutions that promote regional economic growth and employment opportunity for all job seekers. For this project, Employ Milwaukee aims to connect trained workers with Lead Abatement certifications to contractors who are paid by the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) to remediate high lead risk homes.
View their webpage.
The reduction of lead poisoning in Milwaukee will require a collective and highly focused effort. We are hosting quarterly update meetings to share progress on the ARPA project, receive feedback from the community, provide a space for productive collaboration, and ensure sustainability of the program’s goals following the expiration of the ARPA grant.
Our first meeting was held on May 9th, 2023. Check back soon for information on the next event!
MHD staff will present alongside our partners at the Social Development Commission (SDC), Revitalize Milwaukee, Habitat for Humanity, and Employee Milwaukee on the project’s goals, key performance indicators, project successes, and ongoing challenges as we build capacity for a better system of lead abatement in Milwaukee. In this first meeting, we will share an overview of the ARPA project, how it works (including the project workflow and how it differs from MHD’s traditional lead abatement work), and updates from our partners on the work they have been doing to expand their capacity to do lead abatement work.
For data on BLLs and Lead Poisoning in Milwaukee:
ARPA Progress Reports
View the Recording