NLIHC Joins National Colleagues in Statement Urging Congress to Enact the “Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act”

NLIHC joined colleagues from the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) and Earth Justice in a July 11 statement urging Congress to enact the “Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act” (H.R. 7165/S.1860). Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA) and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the act would create a statutory requirement for HUD to inspect Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) units for lead hazards before families with children under the age of six move in.

“A quality affordable home is a prescription for good health, but too often, children living in federally assisted homes are put at risk of exposure to lead, which can result in serious, negative long-term impacts on health and well-being, and can even lead to death,” explained Diane Yentel, NLIHC’s president and CEO, in the statement. “These harmful health consequences fall disproportionately on the lowest-income and most marginalized households, exacerbating health disparities for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. Congress must do more to protect families and children by enacting the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act and other investments to create healthy homes for households with the greatest needs.”

Despite banning the use of lead-based paint in 1978, HUD estimates that 43,000 housing units occupied by families with children under the age of six have “uncontrolled lead hazards,” placing children living in these units at elevated risk of lead poisoning. At the same time, it is estimated that 90,416 children in families participating in the HCV program have lead poisoning. The Biden administration announced in June that it would provide $500 million for the remediation of lead-based paint hazards, but without a mandate to inspect HCV units, these funds will not reach families living in these units. The statement also recommends that HUD work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise its lead hazard standards, which were found by a federal appellate court to be “outdated and counterproductive.”

Read the statement at: 

Learn more about the “Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act” at: