More than 40 years after lead-based paint was banned, the toxic legacy of lead continues to rob our nation’s children of their opportunity to achieve their lifelong promise. The United States Senate has proposed a 4% increase in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes to $290 million to address lead hazards in housing in FY2020. Advocacy efforts by the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative and our national health and housing partners have resulted in broad bipartisan consensus for continued increases in funding for lead remediation. However, incremental increases in funding alone will never solve the national lead poisoning crisis.
GHHI is pleased to support the Lead Free Future Act, Rep. Jared Golden’s bold plan to put in place at-scale lead hazard remediation investment and national health and housing standards based on GHHI’s National Strategic Plan to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. The Lead Free Future Act establishes $12 billion in funding over 5 years ($2.4 billion per year) to address lead-based paint hazards, replace lead service lines and remediate lead hazards in soil in the 1.1 million properties where young children from low income families reside and which are most at-risk for lead hazards.The Act increases funding for the Centers for Disease Control’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to $500 million over 5 years ($100 million per year) and requires states’ level of action be aligned with the CDC blood lead reference level in order to receive lead surveillance or hazard remediation funds. Lastly, it mandates that all federally-assisted properties, those receiving federal mortgage or rental assistance, receive lead hazard risk assessment and hazard remediation prior to sale or occupancy so that the federal government no longer participates in keeping lead hazardous homes on the US market.
GHHI is pleased to support the Opportunity Zone Lead Remediation Impact Act of 2019, Rep. Elijah Cumming’s innovative plan to ensure that the substantial national investment in Opportunity Zones works to prevent lead poisoning and to bring housing to a higher standard of health and safety. The Act requires complete lead hazard remediation in properties redeveloped with Opportunity Zones investment and mandates a 2% set aside for the remediation of lead hazards in schools and childcare facilities in the Opportunity Zone.
GHHI is also pleased to support Rep. Tim Ryan’s GET THE LEAD OUT Act, a proposal for a substantive federal investment of $100 billion to replace all lead service lines and to remove lead-based paint from 7 million homes nationwide.
These critical legislative initiatives point to a unique moment of opportunity to create meaningful investments in lead poisoning prevention, leveraged by health-protective standards. We invite you to join GHHI in support of these bills. Together, we can end lead poisoning for this and future generations.
Ruth Ann Norton
President and CEO
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative