October 2021

Each month, we’ll have a blog or tips from a different staff member at the ECDA office. Check out this month’s blog from Barbi Brewer-Watson, our Executive Director, below:



For over 20 years now the City of Kankakee has administered the Housing and Urban Development’s housing lead abatement program.  This program helps our highest at-risk population remove lead from their homes and works to educate residents on healthy home skills.  ECDA still administers this program and since May 2019, the team has abated 43 homes. 

Why is lead still an issue today?  Our homes and pipes, if built before 1978, have lead in them.  Lead can still be found in many toys and jewelry.  If one lives close to an airport, lead can be found in the soil or air.  Lead is around us in many places and for children there is no level of safe exposure.  For many adults, lead exposure can create both short-term and long-term health challenges.  For children ages 0-6, the highest population risk, lead can cause brain damage, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, hearing and speech problems, and other developmental issues.  We also know that we can prevent any of this from happening by removing lead from homes. 

What can we do to protect ourselves from lead exposure? First, find out when your home was built and the materials used in the home such as paint and pipes.  Talk to your health care provider if you think your home has any lead hazards.  They can take a simple blood test to see if there has been any lead exposure.  Caregivers of children can also reach out to the health department for guidance.  Regularly cleaning of a home can minimize the collection of dust that may contain lead, especially if repairing or remodeling a home has taken place.  For children it is important to wash their hands and toy often as well as providing them a diet high in iron and calcium.

Lead is still an issue today and we are working to abate this hazard across the City.  If you think your home has any lead contamination, please call our team to start the application process. To be eligible for this program, residents in Kankakee must provide the following documents:

  1. 1. Proof of Income (2 months)
    1. a. IRS 1040, W2, and check stubs
    2. b. Income Tax Return (2 years)
    3. c. Needed for ALL adults living in the home (owners or tenants)
  2. 2. Proof of Ownership - Warranty deed, quit claim deed or other deed information (mortgage papers)
    1. a. with legal description
    2. b. proof that mortgage payments are current
  3. 3. Property Record Card - Get from County Building, 189 E. Court Street
  4. 4. Proof of Insurance - Certificate of Insurance from your insurance agent
  5. 5. Proof of Paid Taxes - Copy of your current tax bill
  6. 6. Copies of Birth Certificate(s) - all children 6 and under (including visiting children)
  7. 7. Copy of Driver's License or state ID
  8. 8. Lead test for each child 6 and under
  9. 9. Rental License (when applicable)

Please contact our office to pick up an application or for answers to additional questions.  You can reach us by phone at 815.933.0506 or via email at yourvoice@citykankakee-il.gov.


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