Getting the Lead out of Housing that Federal Regulations Can't Reach

From 1993 to 1998, the National Center for Lead-Safe Housing (the center), Columbia, Md., provided technical assistance to cities and states to help them develop and manage comprehensive, coordinated childhood lead-poisoning-prevention programs.

The center worked collaboratively with two other organizations actively engaged in lead poisoning prevention—the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (the alliance), Washington, and the Consumer Law Foundation, Boston.

The three organizations chaired and staffed the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Title X Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction and Financing Task Force and actively disseminated to cities and states the national benchmark standards for lead control in private housing that grew out of the work of the task force.

Key Results

The organizations:

  • Worked with 20 states to help them design lead-poisoning-prevention programs that included the Title X benchmark standards.
  • Assisted the cities of Boston and Baltimore in developing lead poisoning prevention programs.
  • Helped nine states (Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia) develop certification programs for contractors working with lead-based paint hazards.
  • Worked with Milwaukee and Boston to initiate lead abatement work in 300 to 500 housing units per year in each city.
  • Helped develop United Parents against Lead—a national organization of parent groups concerned with lead poisoning.
  • Developed a database of lead-poisoning-prevention laws and a compendium of case studies on funding lead-poisoning-prevention programs.