Reps. Lawson and Rutherford Introduce the Keep Children and Families Safe From Lead Hazards Act

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05)

WASHINGTON, D.C – (Source: – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) and Rep. John Rutherford (FL-04) introduced the Keep Children and Families Safe From Lead Hazards Act. This legislation requires that, on a yearly basis, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will assess the risks of lead-based hazards on housing properties receiving federal rental assistance.

The legislation also directs HUD to develop an action plan detailing necessary changes for properties at risk of exposure to lead hazards.

“Every family deserves to live in a home that is free of danger, yet far too many households are detrimentally impacted by lead poisoning,” Rep. Lawson said. “Our residents should not have to worry about the risk of lead exposure and the harmful impact this hazardous toxin can cause. The Keep Children and Families Safe From Lead Hazards Act will raise the standard of federally-assisted housing by enforcing accountability and improving the living conditions for our most vulnerable citizens. I am pleased to work with Rep. Rutherford on this critical legislation to protect the safety and health of North Florida’s children and families.”

“It is inexcusable that some living in public housing have experienced dangerous levels of lead exposure, threatening their health and safety,” Rep. Rutherford said. “I am proud to join a bipartisan coalition working to hold HUD accountable for any lead-based hazards in their facilities. Thank you to Rep. Lawson for leading this important effort.”

Many properties in Florida and nationwide were built before the ban on lead paint in residential housing that was implemented in 1978. According to the CDC, 3.6 million American families are at risk due to lead-based paint contamination in their homes. Additionally, 340,000 children living in Section 8 housing are at risk. This legislation not only improves housing conditions for millions of Americans in Section 8 properties, it also protects the health and well-being of those individuals.

The risk assessment conducted as a result of this legislation will identify the properties with the greatest risk of exposing children under the age of 6 to lead-based hazards. The action plan will include remediation steps and safeguards that address the lead-based hazards and priority for these plans will be given to properties with children under the age of 6 years old.

HUD will also be directed to submit a report to Congress regarding the properties at risk and the number of children impacted by this issue. Lead-based hazards will also be included as a graded factor in uniform physical condition inspections. In doing so, hazards will be regularly tracked and owners of properties will be accountable for methods of reformation.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced the companion bill in the Senate earlier this year.

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