SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Willie Clayton has a few rental properties, including a couple located on the Southside of Syracuse.

“This house was built in 1900,” Willie said pointing to one of his properties. “I purchased the house from Home HeadQuarters in 1992. It needed a lot of work.”

Some of that work included removing lead from the property including from windows and doors. He said about $7,000 in grant money from a partnership between Home HeadQuarters and the Central New York Community Foundation made it possible for Clayton to get this done.

“If I had to do this by myself it would have never gotten done.”

Willie Clayton, Landlord in Syracuse

In 2021, those community partners received a $300,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to replace windows and doors in 43 rental units. This year they received an additional $150,000 from the foundation to expand to an additional 78 units.

Even with these programs lead is still prevalent in many Syracuse homes.

“For example, Census Track 23, which is the Northside, and Census Track 54 which is the Southside of Syracuse had the highest lead poisoning rates,” said Darrell Buckingham. “On the Northside, the rates were, I believe, 16% and on the Southside it’s about 26%.”

Lead poisoning disproportionally impacts black people and children. Buckingham grew up on the Southside, so this work is personal.

“If these children are exposed to lead, it does create issues with behavior, depression, anxiety. In some cases it can lead to suicide.”

Darrell Buckingham, Program Officer for Strategic Initiatives for the Central New York Community Foundation

All things they are working to prevent as lead poisoning is preventable.

Property owners interested in applying for the Windows & Doors program at Home HeadQuarters can visit

You can learn more about LeadSafeCNY or view local lead data can visit