The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is making available $4 million through HUD’s new Radon Testing and Mitigation Demonstration Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for public housing agencies. PHAs will use the funds in public housing properties where low-income families reside. With this funding, PHAs will be able to conduct testing and, when needed, mitigation of radon in the public housing units that they manage. Read HUD’s Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
“This new program is part of HUD’s overall effort to reduce disparities in the health of low-income families compared to the overall population,” said Matthew Ammon, Director of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “Too many families are at risk of serious illness because of exposure to radon, and we will continue our efforts to keep families, including children, safe.”
The grants that will be awarded through the NOFO announced today will also provide HUD with important information on methods and costs for radon testing and mitigation in public housing around the country. The funds for these grants will come available early this summer, and PHAs can apply for the funds through Grants.gov.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that about 1 in 15 homes (7 percent) in the U.S. have elevated radon levels. The EPA also estimates that about 21,000 people die in the U.S. annually due to lung cancer from radon exposure.
Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is a decay product of elements in soil and rock and is present in every part of the country. Low levels of radon are found in the outside air. Radon gas can move through the soil and enter buildings through small openings in the foundation or basement and become concentrated in the indoor air environment. When radon is inhaled, it can damage DNA in lung tissue and increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates.