DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Just as homebuilders use model units to give a prospective buyer a vivid sense of the home they might purchase, lead poisoning prevention advocates can create “demonstration homes” to show how lead paint hazards can develop and demonstrate techniques for controlling lead hazards, as well as highlighting other healthy homes problems and solutions in a powerful way. The demonstration home can include hands-on, interactive components to provide a wide range of important and practical facts about lead poisoning prevention. Advocates can partner with key stakeholders to create and operate the demonstration home and invite policy makers and opinion leaders to tour the home, opening doors for further collaborations and discussions about needed policy changes.
This activity immediately provides practical education about lead hazards and lead safety to all who participate in its development, as well as to those who visit the home. It demonstrates to trades people and policy makers alike that many techniques for identifying and reducing lead paint hazards are simple and affordable, and provides an opportunity to explore the nuances of what interventions are appropriate for various circumstances.
This demonstration vividly teaches policy makers that lead safety can be achieved in many cases through interventions that are lower cost than typically believed. It also dramatically illustrates why lead-safe work practices and lead dust clearance testing are vital—and realistic—activities when old paint is disturbed.
By working together to create and operate the demonstration home, key stakeholders (such as tenant groups, homebuyers, affordable housing advocates, health care providers, hardware and paint stores, unions, building trades people, and do-it-yourself remodelers) build a foundation for deeper collaborations on lead poisoning prevention.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Code or Building Inspection Agency
Human Services Agency
Child Welfare Agency
Depend upon the goals and features of the demonstration home. One half-time person working with other volunteers could create a basic version of this in 2-3 months. The schedule for visitors could be limited to specific dates and times to minimize staffing requirements.
Other resource requirements:
Basic equipment and materials that might be helpful for demonstrating lead safety techniques include lead spot tests, lead dust testing supplies and materials, HEPA vac and other cleaning supplies, photo displays of “before and after” conditions, photos or other graphics documenting the process of hazard remediation using different approaches, and take-home materials.
People creating the demonstration home must be familiar with a wide range of lead safety techniques and interventions and know relevant laws that guide acceptable practices. Anyone engaging in hazard identification or remediation practices should have all required credentials.
This can be a very cost-effective way to reach key audiences with practical information, generate press coverage, and influence policy. The dwelling unit, equipment, materials, labor, and other in-kind items can be solicited from local real estate or housing development organizations, hardware/home improvement stores, labs, and community groups. If successful, another institution (government agency, store, health clinic, etc.) might agree to assume responsibility for maintaining the demonstration home in the future.
In the northern United States, warmer months are best for creating the home and attracting visitors.
High. Partnerships with agencies and organizations that can play a constructive role are key for success.
Finding an easily accessible home that can be used for a substantial period is the major challenge. The impact of the strategy depends on drawing policy makers and other visitors to the demonstration home.