In response to: “NAHB to Sue EPA over Lead Paint Regulations”

We became a certified firm in April of this year, and as a result, we have been receiving referrals from many of the HUD and local housing agencies because we are among the dozen or so firms actually certified in our area.

We have discovered that the majority of Section 8 landlords prefer to evict their renters and remove their rental properties from the HUD housing programs rather than pay the additional costs of Lead Safe practices required by both HUD and the EPA. Without an increased subsidy from HUD, most of these landlords who were willing to provide low income housing simply cannot or will not absorb the additional costs of compliance with the new EPA rules. The net result of this regulation that was designed to protect pregnant women and children under 6, is a loss of low-income housing in our area. Since many of our low-income community members are often young families with small children, this rule is in effect creating more homeless families.

We have emphasized the fact that the new EPA rules apply to ALL homes built before 1978, regardless of the HUD subsidy programs, but most Section 8 landlords that we have provided estimates for have stated they would rather get renters into their properties who can afford the local market rental rates to at least defray the costs of compliance.

My initial exasperation over the EPA’s timing of these new Rules to coincide with the worst recession in nearly a century, has given way to resentment and disgust. Only a Government could create a system of regulations so outrageous and badly thought out as to result in the homelessness of even more pregnant women and small children, the very people they wanted to protect.

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