The Council Bluffs Community Development Department invites the community to “Chipper’s Party,” an educational, family-oriented event to increase awareness about the City’s Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Program. Chipper’s Party will take place on Monday, May 9, from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Council Bluffs Public Library (400 Willow Ave) in Meeting Room B.
Chipper, the program’s mascot, is chipping in to help prevent lead poisoning in Council Bluffs. Chipper’s Party will feature educational activity stations, prizes, raffles, cotton candy, popcorn, a coloring mural, face painting, balloons, and a photo booth with Chipper! This event is free and designed for kids under the age of six. Siblings are welcome.
Children under six are most susceptible to lead poisoning. Lead was used in paint until 1978. Side effects from childhood lead poisoning include damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.
The City of Council Bluffs was awarded a $2.3 million grant to remove lead paint in homes built before 1978. The program is available to eligible homeowners and renters. Thus far, the City’s Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Program has successfully mitigated lead risks from eleven homes in Council Bluffs.
“We have enough funding to make improvements to about 100 homes,” said Lora Flom, Housing and Economic Development Planner for the City of Council Bluffs. “We hope to identify a few more qualified families at Chipper’s Party, but we also hope many families attend and then tell their friends and neighbors about the program.”
The grants can be used to make improvements such as new windows, doors, and paint. Depending on the total expense of removing lead hazards, there may be additional money to correct electrical and radon issues and add smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition to the Lead Hazard Reduction Program, the City’s Community Development Department offers other housing assistance grants, including the Affected Properties Program and Safe Housing Program.
“This program isn’t just for parents or homeowners; grandparents and caregivers and tenants can also qualify,” said Flom.
Find Chipper’s Party on Facebook (https://fb.me/e/1rbx1Ywh9) and follow along for regular updates. Learn more about the Lead Hazard Reduction Program at www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2358.