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Lakewood spruces neighborhoods with paint grants

Posted at 8:46 AM, May 15, 2023

A local nonprofit is once again helping families spruce up their homes.

Good Morning Cleveland anchor Mike Brookbank went to Lakewood where he learned about Lakewood Alive's Paint Program and how it's helping their community.

"It's something that if you don't fix it, then it's going to cost you more, you know, money and time," homeowner Perri Topulli said.

Last fall, Topulli got a call from the City of Lakewood saying the outside of her home needed an upgrade.

She knew the place she's called home for more than 20 years could use some work but how would she pay for it?

"I knew from the beginning that was going to be a stretch for us," Topulli said.

Once she got the notification from the city that her house needed to be painted, she started getting estimates.

None of them were below $13,000 for the work that needed to be done.

It was a price tag that made her nervous until she contacted Lakewood Alive.

The non-profit's paint program helps save people money by offering grants of up to $4,500 to Lakewood homeowners for a fresh coat of color.

Not only are the grants there to help revitalize these neighborhoods but they are also meant to educate.

"So if a house has blistering and peeling paint based on the age of our homes, it could be a lead hazard," Housing and Internal Operations Director of Lakewood Alive Allison Urbanek said.

The non-profit said most homes in the city were built between 1900 and 1920, but the paint used on them often contained lead.

"When lead was put in the paint, it was done. So because it makes paint very elastic. So in our cold winters, it would just expand and contract, no problem. And our hot summers expand and contract. So it was really great until they figured out all of the health risks associated with lead," Urbanek said.