LOCKPORT – Niagara County’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program will begin offering its services in run down areas of North Tonawanda in October, the county Health Department announced Friday.
The program, shut down last year after a state grant was denied, was revived this summer thanks to a promise of $750,000 in state aid through 2019. A condition was that the program, which formerly concentrated on inner-city Niagara Falls, had to spread its services around the county.
The program’s main goal is to reduce housing-related illnesses, so its three staffers provide free assessments for residents of targeted at-risk areas. The workers check out lead-based paint, indoor air quality including carbon monoxide and fire risks, as well as providing information on quitting smoking and dealing with asthma.
“These problems are not isolated in one area of the county. Long-term effects of poor housing environments are pervasive in several pockets throughout Niagara County,” Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said. “We have the ability to find these houses and help the people in them live healthier and safer.”
Program coordinator Theresa McCabe said this is not an enforcement program. “Its sole purpose is to protect the citizens of Niagara County,” she said.