PORTLAND Close to $15 million in federal funding has been secured for three Maine cities and the Maine State Housing Authority to address lead in Maine homes.

The city of Portland received just over $2.5 million; the cities of Lewiston and Biddeford also received funding. The grants were distributed through the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, the Lead-Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program, and the Healthy Homes Initiative.

“Lead poisoning poses a great threat to families that do not have the resources to afford costly lead abatement programs,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine in a prepared release.  “I have worked to raise awareness and secure funding to address this largely preventable health problem, which remains one of the most prevalent environmental issues facing children today.”