Cleveland Should Require Rentals To Be Safe From Lead Paint, Coalition Says

A house with chipping paint on the exterior
Lead paint in older homes is a major source of poisoning in Cleveland. [ideastream file image]
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Cleveland’s coalition to prevent lead poisoning says the city should require landlords to protect tenants from lead paint.

The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, which the city announced in January, plans to submit its recommendations to City Council on Wednesday.

Under the proposal, the city would mandate that rental owners obtain certificates showing they’ve minimized kids’ exposure to chipped or peeling paint. The rules would apply to properties built before 1978, the year lead paint was banned in the U.S.

“The core of the recommendations from the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition are really on primary prevention,” said coalition member Mark McDermott from housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners. “That is, having housing that’s lead safe and that keeps kids from having lead poisoning.”

While the city would run the certificate program, private inspectors would check properties for hazards, he said.

“The inspections themselves, along the way we’re recommending, would be carried out by certified, third-party inspectors, not by the city,” he said.

Failure to comply would be a civil, not a criminal penalty. The city would roll the program out in phases over three years. The proposal also calls for a fund to help landlords pay for remediation.

The coalition also recommends hiring a lead-safe auditor to monitor the certificate program and a lead-safe ombudsperson to investigate complaints.

Council would have to introduce and pass legislation for the program to become reality.

Read the proposals below. Mobile users can view here.

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