DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Co-locating the childhood lead poisoning prevention program (CLPPP) and the public agency responsible for housing and sanitation code enforcement is an option for local governments to facilitate collaboration between traditionally separate activities. An even stronger consolidation extends to the CLPPP authority to cite violations of the housing code’s provisions related to deteriorated paint and lead hazards and trigger enforcement proceedings. In some instances, it may be preferable for the agencies to physically move closer or even share an office suite, but for other local governments, simply increasing collaboration can have significant results.
Co-locating CLPPPs with code enforcement agencies will expedite responses to the lead hazards by the code enforcement authority, helping CLPPPs bridge the gap between these functions that exists in many jurisdictions. When CLPPPs share code enforcement authority, or can influence its actions, they can readily ensure that owners of homes with deteriorated paint or other lead hazards identified by the CLPPP will be required to fix the hazards.
Improved code enforcement is the cornerstone of primary prevention. CLPPP staff will be able to effectively prioritize enforcement to benefit the highest risk children and housing. As a result of increased awareness of lead hazards among code enforcement staff, routine code enforcement practices can evolve to recognize violations that may have previously been considered low priority, triggering violation notices that may not have been generated in the absence of an EBL child.
Improved code enforcement will lead to growth in the number of lead-safe or lead-free homes.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Staff requirements depend upon agency responsibilities and resources. Where enforcement authority coexists, more staff is likely to lead to more citations.
Other resource requirements:
Field staff expected to evaluate houses for lead hazards will need training, certification, and possibly an XRF device.
To the extent that code enforcement authority is shared or delegated, legislative, regulatory, or executive agency action may be needed. Substantive cross-agency coordination and/or resource sharing require upper management support.
Lab analysis costs ($50 per home on average), training, and prosecution resources associated with an incremental increase in the number of inspection staff and inspections performed. Certification costs for public employees are waived in some jurisdictions.
Can be implemented whenever administrative and management arrangements have been completed.
High with management support.
The housing code enforcement agency may be reluctant to delegate authority to or share it with the CLPPP staff because they will not trust that the staff will follow the procedures properly. Staff may also be concerned about overwhelming the legal system needed to complete the enforcement process. If the housing code enforcement has been lax in the past, suddenly adding lead hazard enforcement will be controversial with property owners.