Advocates this week applauded the city of Syracuse's decision to use funds from its $123 million share of the American Rescue Plan to address childhood lead poisoning that's plauging the city.

“I’ve been really pleased to see the emerging consensus on how important the lead environment is when we’re thinking about investments to make in the community, especially with resources like these," said Peter Dunn, the president and CEO of CNY Community Foundation, which invested $2 million to address the problem just three years ago

Last month, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the use of $4.5 million to fight the problem by focusing on ridding old homes of lead, enabling more poeple to become housing inspectors and for advocacy work on the issue. City officials also say the money will be used for advanced lead detection technology.

Most homes in the city were built before 1978 with an estimated 11 percent of children in the city living with lead poisoning.

The money builds on a new city ordinance that is working to address the problem.

A year ago, the Common Council passed the Lead Abatement and Control Ordinance that made it a code violation to have lead paint in buildings, making way for landlords to be taken to court if the problem goes unaddressed.