GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids has hired an advocate for healthier conditions for children to serve as a specialist to help reduce lead poisoning in the city’s homes.

The city says Paul Haan will initially focus on opportunities to address lead-based paint hazards in residential rental properties as new lead programs specialist with the Community Development Department.

Haan, founding executive director at Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, also will serve as staff liaison to various city departments and programs, outside agencies and other governmental units. He has served on the state’s Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission.