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Niou, Kavanagh, Hoylman Push NYCHA for Explanation for Failure to Comply with Lead Laws

For immediate release: November 16, 2017

Niou, Kavanagh, Hoylman Push NYCHA for Explanation for Failure to Comply with Lead Laws

New York, NY - TODAY, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, Assemblymember/State Senator-elect Brian Kavanagh, and State Senator Brad Hoylman released the following letter to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair, Shola Olatoye, requesting an explanation for its failure to conduct mandatory lead paint safety inspections, and the subsequent failure to provide accurate documentation related to the status of these inspections to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“When this report was released, I immediately thought about all the families with young children and soon-to-be mothers who might be affected by lead-based paint. There are thousands of public housing apartments which NYCHA said had been inspected but weren’t, and NYCHA’s actions might have put some of these families in danger,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “We are not only asking NYCHA for answers, but we also want to know their plan to ensure that this never happens again and what they will do to remediate lead-based paint hazards in apartments. We know that lead effects are compounded with long term exposure, which is why removing lead from any building is a top priority. We also want NYCHA to have this conversation with tenants directly; it’s a tough conversation, but in the end, it’s our families who are being impacted. They are the priority here.”

"There's virtually no safe level of exposure to lead, especially for young children," said Assemblymember and Senator-elect Brian Kavanagh. "We're calling on NYCHA to promptly inspect every apartment that should have been inspected over the past four years, and immediately remedy any problems that are putting residents of our community at risk--and to communicate and work openly with tenant leaders, residents and local officials to rebuild trust that they are doing what's necessary and complying with the law."

“We must get to the bottom of NYCHA’s failure to carry out legally-mandated lead inspections,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I look forward to working with Assemblmember Yuh-Line and Senator-elect Kavanagh in working with NYCHA to understand what went wrong and ensure it does not happen again.”

Lead exposure and poisoning is especially dangerous for young children and pregnant women. Exposure to lead-based paints and other lead-contaminated objects can result in dire long term health implications. To protect families and individuals from these negative effects, HUD and New York City enforce rules which require certain dwellings to inspected annually for lead-based paint.

On November 14th, a report was released by the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) announcing the results of an investigation into inspections for potential hazardous lead-based paint conditions at NYCHA apartments. DOI found that NYCHA stopped conducting required visual assessments in 2013. Per the report, in the four years that followed, NYCHA did not announce or implement a new protocol for required lead inspections, and no actions were taken to remediate potential hazards related to lead-based paint.


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