The state has contracted with a Baltimore-based nonprofit to help low-income families in the suburbs improve the safety and energy efficiency of their homes. Green and Healthy Homes Initiative received a $3.3 million contract from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to abate lead paint and other health hazards in the homes of eligible county residents, while also helping lower energy bills by weatherizing their dwellings.

Money for the work comes from a state fund created as a result of the merger of Exelon and Constellation Energy Group. Housing Secretary Raymond A. Skinner said the contract would create "a more comprehensive and streamlined approach" to weatherizing low-income families' homes by also addressing lead-paint and other safety hazards. Formerly the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative has expanded its mission and its geographic reach, now working on health- and energy-related housing issues in 17 cities nationwide.