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Contractors out of work after HUD pulls funding

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Lead abatement work is on hold in the City of Milwaukee after the federal government ordered the Health Department to stop work on homes with lead hazards.

The stop-work order comes in the wake of problems with the city’s lead prevention program.

CBS 58 spoke with a local contractor who is now out of work because of the stop-work order.

Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued the stop-work order Monday, immediately halting work even at homes where lead abatement already started.

The group says it’s because they had concerns about how the work is being done after a visit last week.

The city was letting homeowners do some of the work, but HUD wants certified contractors to do all lead abatement work.

The decision is impacting contractors who have jobs placed on hold.

"This house we're supposed to be doing some work, but because it's on hold, we cannot come here and treat the house. I was actually supposed to start on Monday to do this work,” says Emer Martinez, owner of E&L Home Improvement.

The Health Department says the stop-work order could be in place for several months but city officials say they agree with the decision and changes to the program are already underway.

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