ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira is looking for contractors to help in removing lead paint and lead-related risks from older homes, saying the City will cover the cost of necessary training.

The City announced that it got another $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Lead-Paint Hazard Reduction Program. The program aims to remove lead paint from windows, doors, and interior and exterior walls on homes built before 1978.

To help with the program, the City of Elmira is looking for more contractors to participate, saying they need to be certified with the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Elmira’s Community Development Department will cover the costs for EPA training and certifications for contractors, the announcement said.

“Lead exposure is a major health concern in our community,” said Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell. “This program will greatly aid in eliminating lead exposure to our children and families in our community.”

Under the Lead-Paint Hazard Reduction Program, the City said eligible property owners can get up to $20,000 in grants or loans, with a 10% project match required for non-owner-occupied units. The people living in the home also have to be income eligible, the announcement said.

Community Development will have an informational meeting on the third floor of City Hall at 12:00 p.m. on February 28.

According to the City, Elmira has higher lead levels in children than the rest of Chemung County. The County as a whole has a 15.1% “incidence” rate of blood (10 micrograms/deciliter or higher). The announcement said Elmira is at higher risk because of the higher number of older houses.