Lead Safe Greater Portland

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What is lead?

Lead is a heavy metal that was added to paint to make it more durable. Lead paint was often used inside homes around windows, doors, trim and on painted floors. It was also used on the outside of houses, such as doors, windows, wood siding, trim, porches and stairs. In 1978 the United States banned leaded paint, but it remains a serious problem in older homes today.

Home built before 1950 likely contain old lead based paint. Homes built before 1978 may contain old lead based paint. Lead paint in older homes can turn into poisonous lead dust through normal wear and tear. Lead dust is invisible to the eye and it settles on window sills, floors, and other places children play. Lead can cause serious and permanent damage to a child’s developing brain. 

The good news is lead poisoning is 100% preventable.  

We can help make your home lead safe

Thanks to a generous grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development we are able to offer financial assistance through forgivable loans to make income qualified* properties lead safe. Our funds covers all of Cumberland County and we cover preventative work! Landlords- you DO NOT need to be under an abatement order from the Maine CDC to qualify. We offer income qualified landlords and homeowners:

  • Financial assistance to address lead hazards, code violations, and health and safety issues 
  • Free home lead inspections 
  • Free environmental health assessment to look for health and safety issues
  • Free project management services for the entire project
  • Financial assistance with relocation during construction
  • Free coordination of all contractor related work 
  • Application assistance 

I am a landlord

Half of all children poisoned by lead in Maine live in rental housing. We can help you protect your tenants from lead poisoning. 

  • Worried about old lead paint in your units? We provide financial assistance up to $10,000 per unit in your property to address lead hazards
  • Worried about a code violation or other issues? We provide financial assistance up to $5,000 per unit to address healthy homes findings. Examples include electrical issues, mold and ventilation, and lighting and safety issues
  • We provide financial assistance to cover relocation expenses while your units are made lead safe
  • We manage contractors and relocation of tenants on your behalf

For Portland Multi-Unit Properties ONLY: The program will be accompanied by a Code Enforcement Officer to inspect the property as part of the City’s bi-annual inspection process. Any outstanding code violations must be addressed. Our funding may be able to assist you in these corrections. Portland properties must also be current on all municipal payments (real estate taxes, water and sewer payments, etc.) to be eligible for the program. 

Does my building qualify? To qualify, tenants must meet income qualifications. For detailed information on income qualifications for your particular case, please contact Theresa Galvin at 874-8983.

I am a homeowner

You bought your dream home. Let us help you make it lead safe. We offer homeowners:

  • Financial assistance up to $10,000 to address lead hazards
  • Financial assistance up to $5,000 to address other health and safety issues. Examples include fire hazards, electrical issues, and mold and ventilation
  • Financial assistance to cover relocation expenses while your home is made lead safe

Do I qualify? To qualify, single family homeowners must have a child under the age of 6 residing in the house and be at 80% of HUD’s Area Median Income limits. For income limits for your town, see tables below.

I am a renter

Are you curious if you have lead dust in your rental unit? Order a free lead dust test kit to test your home.

Effective June 27, 2019, Maine law requires blood lead tests for all children at 1 and 2 years of age. Children over the age of 2 may still qualify for a blood lead test based on additional risk factors. Talk to your child’s doctor about a blood lead test. For more information on the impact of childhood lead poisoning visit The Maine CDC or the Federal CDC for more information. 

I’m handy and I do my own MAINTENANCE!

Great! Let us help you become RRP certified. The EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) establishes requirements for firms and individuals performing renovations, and affects contractors, property managers, and others who disturb painted surfaces.  It applies to work in houses, apartments, and child-occupied facilities (such as schools and day-care centers) built before 1978.  It includes pre-renovation education requirements as well as training, firm certification, and work practice requirements. 

The training is a one day, 8 hour training. We can reimburse for you to become RRP certified! Contact our program manager, Theresa Galvin to learn more. 

Curious if you qualify? Questions about the program? Email us at


Income guidelines

NOTE: On April 1st, 2020- HUD updated their Area Median Income (AMI) Limit Guidelines. All applications submitted on or after this date will be evaluated based on the 2020 AMI guidelines. *If you submitted an application to us prior to this date, the previous 2019 AMI limits still apply to your application. For any questions or clarification on the change in income guidelines please contact our Loan Officer Ronda Jones at rej@portlandmaine.gov

FY 2020 HUD Area median Income (ami) Limits 

Towns: Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Freeport, Gorham, Gray, Long Island, North Yarmouth, Portland, Raymond, Scarborough, South Portland, Standish, Westbrook, Windham, Yarmouth
Family Size 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
50% AMI $35,000 $40,000 $45,000 $49,950 $53,950 $57,950 $61,950 $65,950
80% AMI $55,950 $63,950 $71,950 $79,950 $86,300 $92,700 $99,100 $105,500

FY 2019 HUD Area Median Income (AMI) limits

Towns: Baldwin, Bridgton, Brunswick, Harrison, Naples, New Gloucester, Pownal, Sebago
Family Size 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
50% AMI $27,500 $31,400 $35,350 $39,250 $42,400 $45,550 $48,700 $51,850
80% AMI $44,000 $50,250 $56,550 $62,800 $67,850 $72,850 $77,900 $82,900