The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced nearly $15 million in funding to reduce lead hazards in Maine.

The money will go toward lead abatement projects in Biddeford, Lewiston, Portland and around the state, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who wrote a bill releasing the funds.

About 68 percent of downtown Lewiston housing was built before 1940, which means it’s more likely to have lead paint, said Kristen Cloutier, the mayor of Lewiston, which will receive $5.2 million.

“The federal government has been a critical partner in our efforts to combat this public health hazard, awarding the city a total of $14.6 million in grant funds since 2002 to make our housing stock lead-safe, and to educate residents on how to protect their children from the hazards of lead paint,” she said.

Another $2.5 million will go toward lead paint abatement and healthy home assessments in Portland. Biddeford will receive $3.2 million, and the Maine State Housing Authority is netting $3.8 million.

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