$1.2M needed to move Indiana residents away from lead

EAST CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials say they’re searching for another $1.2 million to help move about 1,000 people from lead-contaminated public housing in northern Indiana.

James Cunningham is a deputy regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He tells the Northwest Indiana Times that the department is working closely with the East Chicago Housing Authority to relocate the residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex, including about 700 children.

The complex, which is on the former site of a plant that melted lead and copper, was added to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of priority cleanup sites in 2009.

The Chicago-based Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law has filed a housing discrimination complaint, claiming the relocation plan violates civil rights laws.

East Chicago’s mayor recommended in July that residents move because of high lead and arsenic levels.