DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
HUD’s regulations require that federally assisted housing rehab projects be done lead safely. Lead poisoning prevention programs can support HUD-funded housing agencies’ and community development corporations’ (CDCs) efforts to ensure compliance by providing training to build capacity and technical assistance to model the practical application of lead-safe housing requirements. They can also provide services such as risk assessments, recommendations for the scope of work that should be performed, and clearance testing after rehab projects are complete. Jurisdictions that have lead hazard control funds can use them as leverage to encourage housing agencies’ and CDCs’ rehab of homes with lead hazards.
The scope of the community’s rehab program is preserved or expanded to incorporate housing units and work items within homes that might not otherwise have been completed. In addition, the work is done using lead-safe work practices, thus protecting the health of children and other occupants.
Fewer lead poisoned children and increased supply of lead-safe housing.
The training of private contractors in lead-safe work practices will have significant benefits. For instance, contractors can apply lead-safe work practices to all future rehabilitation and repair projects.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
|Health Department||Housing Agency|
The staffing needs are minimal.
Other resource requirements:
If lead inspections are provided, XRF analyzers will be needed.
State regulatory agencies must take a flexible, practical approach to incorporating lead hazard control into rehab projects. Requiring abatement certification exceeds HUD requirements and may unnecessarily increase the cost of smaller rehab projects. Communities need a combination of certified workers and workers trained in lead-safe work practices to perform large- and small-scale rehab projects respectively.
First, rehab costs will increase incrementally as a result of contractors using safe work practices and for minor activities such as additional set-up and clean-up steps. Ideally, another funding source should be made available to help pay the additional costs of lead hazard control that are above and beyond the scope of the rehabilitation work. Alternatively, health departments might charge fees to the housing agency for performing lead inspections or risk assessments, as well as training contractors and workers, to support the continuation of skilled staff.
The health department and the housing agency need to agree on the timing of the risk assessment, the housing inspection, and the development of specifications. There are many different approaches, which basically fall into two camps. The first is to develop the rehab scope of work which is then given to the risk assessor. The risk assessment will then suggest additional work required by the risk assessment and specific work practices that should be followed during the rehab. The second is to conduct the risk assessment first so that all lead hazard control work can be incorporated into the rehab scope of work from the outset. Either approach can be effective, but there must be agreement on protocols before launching a collaborative venture.
High. This primary prevention strategy can be implemented in communities where there is an interest and a will to make it work. Effective strategic planning for preventing childhood lead poisoning can foster such resource sharing between housing rehab programs and CLPPPs.
Individual state regulations and requirements can be a barrier. State policy must be flexible while maintaining consistency on basic principles. In addition, a state or local requirement for lead hazard insurance can present an obstacle to getting contractors to perform rehab work.