Counties in southeastern Minnesota will be receiving $3.3 million in federal funding to protect families from lead and other household hazards.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving the money to organizations in Mower, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Olmsted, Goodhue, Houston, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona counties. The grant will allow for lead hazard reduction work in 151 housing units.  

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the southeastern part of the state has higher rates of lead in children’s blood compared to the state average. The region’s higher percentage of older homes with lead-based paint inside is blamed for that.