GAO Finds Flaws in HUD Lead Mitigation Efforts

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report evaluating HUD’s lead grant and rental assistance programs. The study found that HUD lacked standards and proper oversight for identifying and mitigating lead hazards, which could be increasing child exposure to unsafe conditions.

The study’s objective was to determine ways that HUD could improve its reporting and remediation standards for lead-based paint in its public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. The GAO recognized four main areas in which HUD could make improvements: lead grant programs, oversight, inspections, and performance assessment and reporting.

The GAO found that HUD lacked specific frameworks or time frames that would allow it to better disperse its limited resources. HUD also lacked proper oversight to ensure that PHAs comply with lead paint regulations and that PHAs are properly identifying children with elevated blood lead levels. In addition, a less strict lead inspection standard for the Housing Choice Voucher program than the public housing program leads to voucher-assisted children living in units more likely to be affected by lead poisoning. HUD also lacks performance measures to assess the effectiveness of its lead prevention and mitigation efforts.

GAO makes nine recommendations for HUD to improve program compliance, reevaluate its lead inspection standard in the voucher program, and increase oversight and reporting processes.

Read the full report at: