DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Generally, occupants of homes that contain lead-based paint should be temporarily relocated to lead-safe housing before the start of lead hazard control work, or renovation or remodeling work that disturbs more than a small area of lead-based paint, and they should not return until the work is completed and the work site has been vacuum cleaned and wet washed and passed clearance.
Relocation is not necessary if work area containment is practiced and either only a few square feet of paint will be disturbed or the work can be completed in a few days while occupants stay out of the work area.
Temporary relocation can be carried out most efficiently and costs minimized by (a) ensuring that paint-disturbing work is completed as quickly as possible; (b) occupants are fully advised in writing of the necessity of not returning until the dwelling has been thoroughly cleaned; and (c) arrangements are made in advance for the protection and security of occupants’ belongings and for the transportation needs of schoolchildren.
Temporary relocation protects occupants from exposure to lead during such activities.
In areas such as New England, 20% or more of elevated blood lead level cases can be traced to unsafe remodeling or renovation of the child’s home. Therefore, ensuring needed relocation could materially reduce childhood lead poisoning.
Rental property owners and contractors would avoid liability for poisoning children by providing temporary relocation.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Health and Housing Department staff, supported by community and advocacy organizations, would have to devote time to educating landlords and contractors on the importance of temporary relocation. Contractor training programs should include temporary relocation in training materials. Building permit agencies could review plans for occupied property renovations.
Other resource requirements:
Training materials and a database of housing by year built would be required.
Knowledge of the local housing base.
The cost of temporary relocation should be borne by owners of rental properties. At minimum, state or local agencies could encourage rental property owners to pay for incidental costs, such as transportation and security of occupants’ belongings, if occupants arrange to stay with friends or relatives. Some public and private agencies have secured lead-safe apartments and required rental property owners to pay for incidental costs. Where private sector accommodations must be used, relocation costs can be minimized if the agency can establish a public-private partnership with hotels or motels to set aside low-cost rooms for temporary relocation.
In addition, it is conceivable that a temporary relocation requirement will result in rental property owners passing the cost to tenants in the form of higher rent.
High. Encouraging temporary relocation to homes of the occupant’s friends or relatives may be one practical way of minimizing costs and ensuring successful implementation. Otherwise, feasibility will depend upon the availability of funds to implement a program.
It may be very difficult to impose temporary relocation requirements on landlords without the availability of some type of cost-sharing.