HUD Settles with New York Owners over Lead Hazards
A New York City property management company and 20 affiliated owners of federally assisted multifamily sites in Brooklyn have reached a settlement with HUD over their failure to properly handle lead-based paint hazards. The owners agreed to pay a $20,000 penalty for failing to provide information regarding lead hazard reduction work at the sites and to clean up lead-based paint hazards in nearly 800 units.
The agreement represents the first administrative settlement for violations of the Federal Lead Safe Housing Rule. According to HUD, Star Realty Company and the property owners failed to provide information to HUD regarding the operation and condition of the 20 multifamily sites.
Under the settlement, the companies agreed to pay the civil money penalty and to come into compliance with the Lead Safe Housing Rule on a strict timetable by conducting lead-based paint risk assessments, providing notification of testing and lead work to tenants, performing lead-based paint hazard reduction work, conducting clearance examinations, and performing ongoing operations and maintenance.
The owners agreed to perform lead-based paint hazard reduction work at 17 properties containing 639 units. Three subject properties with an additional 149 units were brought into compliance prior to the settlement.
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act is one of the primary federal enforcement tools to prevent lead poisoning in young children. The Lead Safe Housing Rule requires certain lead hazard reduction work to be performed in all federally owned and federally assisted housing. For housing receiving project-based rental assistance, owners or their agents must provide notice of evaluation and hazard reduction activities and a lead information pamphlet to all residents and perform a certain degree of lead-based paint testing and hazard reduction work depending on the amount of assistance received. For more information on compliance, see “Comply with New EPA Rules When Renovating Older Housing,” Insider, July 2009, p. 1; and “Lead Hazard Disclosure: Tell What You Know,” Insider, June 2009, p. 1.