The “Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2019” was introduced on May 21 by a bipartisan group of senators, including Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Tina Smith (D-MN). NLIHC supports the legislation, which would require HUD to update its lead-poisoning prevention measures to reflect modern science and ensure that families and children living in federally assisted housing are protected from the devastating consequences of lead poisoning.
According to HUD, lead-based paint is present in roughly 37 million U.S. homes, posing serious health and safety risks, including long-term and irreversible health, neurological, and behavioral problems in children. While the available science for detecting and remediating lead hazards in a home has evolved significantly in the last two decades, federal laws and regulations continue to lag far behind, putting children at the risk of being exposed lead before any intervention is triggered.
Specifically, the “Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2019” would require more stringent risk assessments and more accurate evaluation tools to identify lead hazards before a family moves into a home, provide opportunities for families to relocate on an emergency basis if a lead hazard is not abated within 30 days, and require landlords to disclose the presence of lead if lead hazards are found in the home.