New Bill Proposes Comprehensive Plan for Addressing Lead Poisoning

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and 28 of his Democratic colleagues introduced the “True LEADership Act” (S. 2821) a comprehensive plan to address lead poisoning, including several proposals related to housing.

The bill would overhaul the way HUD deals with lead in homes by amending and expanding the “Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act” to include healthy housing activities. S. 2821 would supplement Lead Hazard Control Grants with Healthy Homes funding since many homes that contain lead-based paint hazards also have other serious health and safety hazards, like mold and pests. The bill would also streamline eligibility requirements and allow studio and efficiency apartments to qualify for grants to address lead-based paint hazards.

The bill includes a proposal introduced previously by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that would require HUD to revise its blood lead intervention regulations to coincide with the blood levels used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD would also be required to issue rules requiring an initial risk assessment for low income housing constructed prior to 1978 for lead-based paint hazards before a family with a child under 6 years old moves into the unit.  The bill removes the lead inspection exemption for studio and efficiency apartments that will be occupied by a child less than 6 years old.

Finally, S. 2821 would establish an interagency Council on Healthy Housing to improve coordination and reduce duplication to create greater public awareness about recognizing housing-related health hazards, accessing necessary services, and taking preventive measures.

Read the bill and Senator Cardin’s press release at: