The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just awarded $5.6 million to Erie county and $2.7 million to Niagara County Thursday to help homeowners make their homes lead free.

In addition to Erie and Niagara Counties, several other counties throughout the state got funding as well, a total of @22.1 million statewide.

“The HUD funding will go directly into solving lead hazards within homes,” said Walter Trautwein associate supervising sanitarian Niagara County. “So, the money gets spent on remediation, changing windows those kinds of things that directly impact.”

Lead was used in paint until 1978. According to the Partnership for the Public Good, most of Buffalo’s housing stock was built before the 1940s. Putting families and children at risk of lead poisoning, asthma and other health issues.

“It will be put to good use, to eliminate lead hazards, that exists currently in homes,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “To help home owners, to help those who are renting homes make their homes safe. So, that no child can ever be exposed to lead hazards that unfortunately do exist in many of the homes in our region today.”