For Media


Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan
(616) 241-3300 


Press Releases


April 11, 2018
Removing Dangerous Lead Paint Now Free for Qualifying Homeowners
 (490 KB)

Press kit available here.

The Get the Lead Out! program was recently simplified, making participation free for eligible homeowners. The program is available to renters, homeowners and landlords who meet certain eligibility requirements. Repairs typically include new windows and siding. 

People who live in the City of Grand Rapids – particularly those who live in homes built before 1978 – probably have lead in the paint inside and outsidetheir homes. Lead is bad – especially for kids, babies and pregnant women. It causes brain damage and learning disabilities. 

Lead poisoning can be prevented. There’s HUD funding to remove lead paint SAFELY through a program known locally as Get the Lead Out! The program is led by the city of Grand Rapids in collaboration with the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, the Kent County Health Department and the Rental Property Owners Association


November 6, 2017
Lead Poisoning on the Rise in Kent County
 (597 KB)

Press kit available here.

New health data shows that after a decade of decline, the number of lead-poisoned children in Kent County is rising. 

Most troubling: The 49507 zip code in Grand Rapids not only continues to lead the state of Michigan in numbers of most lead-poisoned kids, but this same zip code has seen a 40 percent increase in children being poisoned during the past two years. 

The culprit isn't in the water - it's lead-based paint found in older homes. 

Resources are available to help residents Get the Lead Out.


June 16, 2017
Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss proclaims June “Healthy Homes Month” in Grand Rapids 
(811 KB)

(Click here for copy of the Proclamation)

City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss has issued a Mayoral Proclamation declaring June 2017 as “Healthy Homes Month.” Nationally, June also has been designated “Healthy Homes Month” by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“When the City and its partners invest in housing, there is a significant return on investment for the community in terms of healthcare savings and improved quality of life. Fixing housing saves money and it saves lives,” says Paul Haan, executive director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and gubernatorial appointee to the State of Michigan’s Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission. 


June 7, 2017
City of Grand Rapids and Other Community Partners Aim to Make 50 Homes Lead-Safe This Summer (260 KB)

People wearing bright red t-shirts are canvasing some of the neighborhoods and festivals in Grand Rapids starting this June – but they’re not stumping for a political candidate: They’re hoping that homes in the city will Get the Lead Out! Armed with free lead-testing kits and brochures, these team members from the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan are letting people know about federal funds available to make lead abatement possible. 


July 20, 2016
City of Grand Rapids Receives $2.9 Million to Reduce Childhood Lead Poisoning
(214 KB)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced June 20, 2016 that the City of Grand Rapids will receive $2.9 million to help reduce childhood lead poisoning by eliminating lead paint hazards in housing. 

The HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is making the award through the 2016 Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program. The three-year grant will support the City’s Lead Hazard Control Program operated by the Community Development Department.  The grant also provides Healthy Homes funding to concurrently address other home health and safety hazards. The City’s partners include the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, the Kent County Health Department, LINC Community Revitalization, Inc., and the Rental Property Owners Association.


September 15, 2014
Get the Lead Out! Press Kit
(822 KB)

Get the Lead Out! - now in 10th year - announces deadline for applications to make GR homes lead safe. To be considered for the funding, applications should be received by Dec. 1, 2014. Press kit contains: press release, fact sheet, media sources, images, b-roll, additional reports and resources.


In the News


November 2016 - Inside Michigan’s push to eliminate child lead poisoning (WOOD-TV 8)

August 2016 - Lead poisoning up in kids: Surge in remodeling, rental demand blamed for spike (Mlive)


August 2016 - Target 8: Poison paint jobs still endangering GR kids (WOOD TV-8)


July 2016 - $2.9M grant to strip lead-based paint from GR homes (WOOD TV-8)


July 2016 - Grand Rapids receives grant to remove lead paint from homes (FOX-17)

July 2016 - $2.9M lead removal grant coming to Grand Rapids (Mlive)

July 2016 - Snyder names West Michigan leaders to lead poisoning board (Grand Rapids Business Journal)

June 2016 - Kent County sees 30 percent increase in childhood lead exposure (WGVU Radio)

June 2016 - GR mayor among members of new lead exposure task force (WGVU Radio)

June 2016 - Critics: MI lead remediation underfunded (WKAR)

March 2016 - More kids in Grand Rapids 'are being poisoned by lead' (Mlive)

March 2016 - As more children are poisoned by lead in Grand Rapids, community advocates work for change (Rapid Growth)


March 2016 - Child lead poisoning cases rise in Grand Rapids (WOOD TV-8)


March 2016 - Lead poisoning cases on the rise in Grand Rapids (FOX-17)


March 2016 - Lead paint poisons Grand Rapids children (WZZM-13)


February 2016 - Target 8: Lead safety scofflaws endanger kids (WOOD TV-8)

January 2016 - Kids' Lead Levels High in Many Michigan Cities (Detroit News)

January 2016 - Need To Get The Lead Out In GR! Older Homes Hold The Biggest Threat (Grand Rapids Times)

January 2016 - Healthy Homes Coalition discusses possible lead sources (WZZM-13)


January 2016 - Lead poisoning in W. MI: ‘It’s not something in the past’ (WOOD TV-8)


December 2015 - Data shows even higher lead poisoning in kids in West Michigan than Flint (FOX-17)

December 2015 - Far from Flint, lead remains an irreversible scourge (Bridge)

March 2015 - Federal and local money work to stop lead poisoning in city (Grand Rapids Business Journal)


October 2014 - Lead poisoning prevention as economic development (The Rapidian)

September 2014 - Getting the word out about Get the Lead Out (Michigan Radio)


From WYCE: 

September 2014 - Catalyst Radio: Grants available through Healthy Homes Coalition get lead contamination out of homes (WYCE via The Rapidian)

September 2014 - Get the Lead Out! (WZZM-13)

September 2014 - 'Get the Lead Out': Program to help families make homes safe (Fox 17)

September 2014 - Grants available to remove lead poisoning in Grand Rapids homes (Mlive)


Get the Lead Out! Program Brochure (524 KB)

In Case of Emergency

If a child has severe symptoms of lead poisoning, such as vomiting or seizures, get immediate help by calling 911.  If a child is suspected of being exposed to lead, make an appointment with the child's health care provider or county health department to have a blood test done.

Did You Know...

Lead from paint, dust and soil is dangerous and can poison children if not managed properly.

News & Events

Lead Poisoning Rate Rises for Second Year in a Row in Kent County

After a decade of decline, the number of lead-poisoned children in Kent County has risen for the second year in a row. Recent data released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) shows a 40 percent increase in lead-poisoned children in the 49507 zip code during the past two years.

According to the data, 617 Kent County children had elevated blood-lead levels in 2016 – the most recent year for which data is available.

Parents Meet to Discuss Rising Lead Poisoning Rates in 49507

Why lead poisoning is on the rise in Kent County, and particularly in Grand Rapids – and what can be done about it – was the subject of discussion and debate at the Oct. 30 event held at Dickinson Academy on Grand Rapids’ southeast side.

When Grand Rapids resident LyRee Adams’ young daughter tested positive for lead a decade ago, she later learned the poisoning likely occurred from lead-based paint flaking from windows in the home she was renting. She immediately got appropriate medical care for her daughter before the child was permanently harmed – and Adams also went directly to her landlord and worked with him to get the lead hazard out of the home.

Kent County Lead Poisoning Task Force Work Continues

The 16-member Kent County Lead Poisoning task force continues to meet to investigate ways in which the County can work towards elimination of lead poisoning