WASHINGTON, DC – Three provisions authored by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, to reduce the threat of lead exposure and lead poisoning of children in federally-assisted housing, passed today as part of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.

“No child should have to grow up in a home where simply breathing could hurt them,” said Sen. Menendez. “I introduced these measures because we can’t sit idly by while millions of children in this country are suffering from the health effects of lead poisoning, and thousands more may be vulnerable to exposure. With passage of this bill, we can make certain that our nation’s affordable housing is held to the highest lead safety standard to limit exposure and keep families safe.

“While these critical measures I worked on with Senator Durbin are much needed and a step in the right direction, there is still more work to be done. We still need updated EPA guidelines on dust and soil standards, initial risk assessments for our aging housing stock, and the relocation assurances for families if a lead hazard is identified.”

The specific provisions, which Menendez originally introduced in the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act:

  • Direct HUD to revise its blood lead level intervention regulations to reflect the levels used by the CDC;
  • Allows for studio and efficiency apartments to be eligible for grants to address lead-based paint hazards, ensuring that children living in these units are afforded the same protection as other types of assisted units; and
  • GAO report on HUD’s policies, procedures and processes for oversight and enforcement to ensure public housing agencies comply with lead-based paint regulations, and analysis of existing federal programs to determine whether gaps exist and in compliance and enforcement of HUD’s lead-based paint regulations.