Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Toledo Proposes New Lead Paint Law

Toledo Proposes New Lead Law That Would Require Abatement and Remediation for Rental Homes
Lead Abatement Worker
Toledo, OH - City Council members and two nonprofit organizations in Toledo are advocating for a new law that would require landlords to remove lead from homes before being able to rent them. According to The Blade, Toledoans United for Social Action and Advocates for Basic Legal Equity (ABLE) are pushing for a law modeled after a similar ordinance in Rochester, New York. Although the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development banned lead-paint in homes built after 1978, over 24 million homes are estimated to still have lead paint hazards.

Under the new law, homeowners would be required to have lead assessments performed on the home before being able to list it on a city registry. Homeowners renting homes not listed on the registry could face misdemeanor charges. If lead was found in the home, the property owner would be required to abate and renovate before renting it out. The rental could only be listed if the city council approves it as lead-safe. Any person performing lead paint abatement or renovation who is not certified by the EPA could face charges up to $37,500 per day.

Proponents of the bill suggest that all of the responsibility for lead-safe homes should fall on the property owner. Robert Cole of ABLE stated, "Trying to address [the lead paint issue] after the poisoning occurred seems to be the wrong approach." Children are at the highest risk for danger if lead paint is present. Even very small amounts of lead paint can cause lead blood levels to rise, IQ to drop, and life expectancy to decline. Children exposed to lead may have a harder time learning and socializing.

However, the bill is being met with resistance by realtors, who fear that the new law would be highly costly for them, leading to foreclosure of the rentals. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins has also expressed concern for both the lead paint problem as well as the future of housing stock. Over 50% of homes in Toledo are rentals, and this new law may increase costs for those homes.

Some advocates are also suggesting that the city government provide grants to property owners to pay for abatement and renovation. While the ultimate concern for Toledo is the future safety of its children, property owners are skeptical of the new costs it may bring.

Lead abatement and renovation work is expected to increase as the city council finds new ways to deal with this health hazard. Contractors and remodelers should become certified in Lead RRP or Abatement to deal with the expected increase in demand.

Become certified with GreenEDU! We offer a variety of EPA Lead courses nationwide:

Or learn more about renovation vs. abatement here: http://www.greenedu.com/rrp-versus-abatement