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HUD explains elimination of lead removal funds for Syracuse

The federal agency that oversees public housing and urban renewal says there was simply too much demand from local governments to give them all money to inspect homes and remove lead paint, including Syracuse.

Syracuse officials announced Thursday the city didn't win a grant - it asked for $3 million - from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the lead removal program for the first time in two decades.

As a result, Mayor Stephanie Miner told WRVO, the city will have to end the program at the end of the year, lay off four employees, and rely on the $3.9 million HUD gave Onondaga County for lead remediation.

Today, HUD explained its reasoning.

"HUD’s Lead Hazard Control grant program is popular with state and local communities and demand this year exceed the funding the Department has available," a HUD official said in a statement.

Funding requests were double the amount of money actually available to be given out, the agency said. As a result, Syracuse and other communities lost out on grants.

Syracuse currently has $1.7 million in unspent funds in its current grant that would allow it to continue the program through next spring, HUD said.