We Know How To Stop The Epidemic Of Lead Poisoning. So Why Aren’t We?

Think Progress

Before Lanice Walker moved her family into a new home in Chicago, she and her nine children had to share the cramped quarters of a three-bedroom apartment. Even so, she struggled to afford that small space. The single mother was facing homelessness, which would mean likely having to send her children to live with their grandmother.

Getting a housing voucher to help cover rent is almost like winning the lottery. Just one in four eligible low-income families actually get the assistance, thanks to underfunding and long waitlists. In 2013, families spent nearly two years on average waiting for a voucher and over a year waiting for a public housing spot. In Chicago, 282,000 families compete for about 3,000 slots. So when Walker got approved for a voucher to help cover rent in a better apartment in early 2012, it was a cause for celebration.

“It felt like the best thing that could have happened,” she said. “It was like my life was brand new, like I could breathe a new breath.”

Little did she know that it would soon lead to her children getting poisoned.


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