Two construction workers doing measurements

CNY Community Foundation Receives $125,000 for Lead Poisoning Efforts; Two New LeadSafeCNY Grants Awarded

A new round of funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation will expand the replacement of lead-painted windows & doors in Syracuse.

January 9, 2023 – The Central New York Community Foundation’s LeadSafeCNY initiative recently received a third round of funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to put toward the cost of replacing exterior doors and windows in rental units resided in by low-income individuals. The $125,000 grant will allow the initiative to continue its efforts city-wide. Over the past three years, the Cabrini Foundation has provided a total of $475,000 in support of LeadSafeCNY.

The renovations are paid for by nonprofit housing and community development organization Home HeadQuarters at no cost to property owners through a deferred loan. Property owners are required to retain ownership for a two-year compliance period, enforced through a lien placed on the property. Since LeadSafeCNY launched in 2018, more than 1,000 windows and 140 doors have been replaced and more than 160 safe and affordable rental units have been either newly constructed or renovated.

The EPA reports that chipping lead paint is the leading source of lead poisoning in the United States. Due to friction points from frequent opening and closing, doors and windows are the primary sources of paint chips and dust particles that contain lead. Elevated blood lead levels in young children have been found to cause reduced brain function, impacting the skills needed for academic success, physical activity and social interaction. This can lead to a higher likelihood of ADHD diagnosis, absenteeism, criminal behavior, violence and suicide.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which awards grants to meet the unmet healthcare needs of individuals, families and communities throughout New York State, chose to support LeadSafeCNY for its potential to significantly improve the health and safety of children in Syracuse.

“This program promises to prevent lifelong negative health ramifications of early lead exposure,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, CEO of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. “We are pleased to help address such a vital need in the Syracuse community.”

The Community Foundation’s LeadSafeCNY initiative also recently awarded two grants to local organizations addressing lead poisoning. The City of Syracuse received $84,000 to hire a technical product manager who will manage case records related to lead ordinance enforcement, lead program implementation and interagency information sharing. Greater Syracuse Land Bank received $75,000 to make three previously vacant Syracuse homes lead-safe and ready for sale.

The Community Foundation established LeadSafeCNY in 2018, committing to invest $2 million to fund a variety of approaches to address the region’s high childhood lead poisoning rates. According to the Onondaga County Health Department, 10 percent of Syracuse children tested in 2021 were shown to have elevated blood lead levels. The total amount invested in the community to date through LeadSafeCNY is $1.97 million.

Those interested in learning more about LeadSafeCNY or viewing local lead data can visit leadsafecny.org. Property owners interested in applying for the Windows & Doors program at Home HeadQuarters can visit www.homehq.org.

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About Central New York Community Foundation

The Central New York Community Foundation is a public charity established in 1927 that receives contributions from donors, manages them to grow over time and then distributes funding to local charities to help them thrive. It is the largest charitable foundation in Central New York with assets of nearly $400 million and has invested more than $250 million in community improvement projects since its inception. As a grantmaker, civic leader, convener and sponsor of strategic initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the region and address the most critical issues of our time. For more information, visit https://www.cnycf.org/

About Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation – which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor – provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. For more information, visit https://www.cabrinihealth.org/

About Home HeadQuarters

Home HeadQuarters is a non-profit neighborhood and housing development organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution that, since 1996, has helped more than 5,000 families become first-time homebuyers; provided nearly 13,000 homeowners with affordable home purchase and improvement loans and grants, and developed more than 1,300 formerly vacant and abandoned properties. The organization is the leading lender to families of color living in Syracuse, out lending all other financial institutions combined. The organization is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, the country’s first designated Community Based Development Organization and is recognized nationally for its innovative loan products for homebuyers, homeowners, local minority contractors and “mom and pop” landlords who are unable to borrow from traditional lenders. Learn more at https://www.homehq.org/.

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