Was your home built before 1978?

If so, you may have lead paint in your home, which can be harmful for young children and pregnant women. Our LeadSafe Homes program offers forgivable loans to reduce the hazards of lead in the home.

Lead paint is typically found in paint dust from old doors or windows opening and closing; peeling and chipped paint, from both inside and outside of the house; and soil that has paint dust or chips in it.

RIHousing’s LeadSafe Homes Program provides remediation of lead-paint based hazards, such as:

  • New windows and doors
  • Interior and exterior painting
  • Soil remediation

There are also resources to provide other healthy homes improvements, including, but not limited to, air quality improvements such as dryer vents and bathroom fans, minor electrical upgrades, and installation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

LeadSafe Homes Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you be concerned about lead paint?

Lead paint is particularly dangerous for children 6 and under. Childhood lead poisoning is one of the most common pediatric health problems, yet it is entirely preventable. Lead paint can harm children by:

  • Damaging the brain
  • Slowing growth and development
  • Causing learning disabilities and behavior problems

This damage is irreversible.

Lead paint is also dangerous for pregnant women. Too much lead in a mother’s body can cause the baby:

  • To be born early or too small
  • To have learning problems

It can also put the mother at risk for miscarriage. 

baby chewing on teething toy
COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Multiple parties are involved with the LeadSafe Homes Program. These include the family that lives in the home, contractors completing the work, inspectors identifying lead hazards and ensuring the home is safe after work is complete, and RIHousing staff who oversee the project and create the scope of work. The health and safety of all parties involved is incredibly important.

We have adopted strict protocols and procedures, following Center for Disease Control (CDC) and RI Department of Health guidelines and requirements, to ensure we are proceeding with our lead remediation work in the safest way. These include:

  • Covid-19 Risk Assessment of all projects before proceeding
  • Cleaning and disinfection of units, or a 3 day timeframe of homes being empty, prior to work beginning and after work is complete
  • Contractors, lead inspectors and RIHousing staff must take daily screenings before entering any properties, wear PPE and socially distance
  • Everyone working on the project must agree to follow applicable emergency federal, state and local executive orders, including prohibitions on gatherings exceeding certain sizes and the performance of work outside the home by non-essential personnel

Lead Remediation Process – Tenants

A certified lead inspector inspects the property for lead hazards.

  • They identify the lead hazards and create an outline for the work that needs to be done

A RIHousing approved contractor is hired to conduct the work.

  • RIHousing works closely with the property owner and contractor to make sure the work is done right and in a timely fashion.

All residents of the property must temporarily leave while the work is happening.

  • How long this will take depends on how much work is needed, but on average it’s 1-2 weeks
  • Residents can stay with family or friends, or RIHousing will pay for temporary accommodations for the full relocation timeframe
  • Due to COVID-19 safety and health policies and procedures, relocations may last longer to ensure the units are safe for contractors to work in and residents to return home to

Once the work is complete, a final inspection is conducted to ensure the property is now lead safe.

  • If so, the property receives a lead safe certificate, something most homes in Rhode Island are required to have  by law.
1. APPLICATION
2. INSPECTION

A certified lead inspector inspects the property for lead hazards.

  • They identify the lead hazards and create an outline for the work that needs to be done
CONSTRUCTION

A RIHousing approved contractor is hired to conduct the work.

  • RIHousing works closely with the property owner and contractor to make sure the work is done right and in a timely fashion.
RELOCATION

All residents of the property must temporarily leave while the work is happening.

  • How long this will take depends on how much work is needed, but on average it’s 1-2 weeks
  • Residents can stay with family or friends, or RIHousing will pay for temporary accommodations for the full relocation timeframe
  • Due to COVID-19 safety and health policies and procedures, relocations may last longer to ensure the units are safe for contractors to work in and residents to return home too
FINAL INSPECTION

Once the work is complete, a final inspection is conducted to ensure the property is now lead safe.

  • If so, the property receives a lead safe certificate, something most homes in Rhode Island are required to have  by law.
How do I know if my home has lead paint?

If your home was built before 1978, the year lead in paint was banned, then there’s a good chance lead paint is present. Over 70% of homes in Rhode Island were built before 1978 and likely contain lead paint.

The most common sources of lead-paint based hazards are lead contaminated dust, peeling and chipped lead paint and contaminated soil. The best way to know if your home has lead paint is to have an inspector come out and test for it. If your home was built after 1978 there is likely no lead paint.

Are there any costs for tenants and the property owner to participate in this program?

There are no out-of-pocket expenses or monthly payments associated with the LeadSafe Homes Program for the tenant or property owner. In most instances this program is free. Property owners can qualify for 3-5-year forgivable loans for the lead remediation efforts that need to take place on the property.

At times tenants may need to be relocated for a very short period of time so that contractors can repair the home safely; the LeadSafe Homes Program covers costs associated with relocation, as necessary.

How do you determine if there is lead in the home?

The most common sources of lead poisoning are lead contaminated dust, peeling and chipped lead paint, and contaminated soil.

Free lead inspections are provided by certified lead inspectors as a LeadSafe Homes Program service!

How do I know if I qualify for the LeadSafe Homes Program?

If your home was built before 1978 you may be eligible. If you are not the property owner, your landlord will first need to complete an application for the program. RIHousing can help you tell your landlord about this program, if requested.

 

I’m not sure how I would approach my landlord about my interest in this program. What are some ways that I can approach the conversation?

The best way to approach the conversation with the property owner is to think about the advantages for all involved. Both tenants and property owner benefit from the LeadSafe Homes Program. Here are some of the program benefits:

  • Comfort in knowing your home is healthy and safe for your family
  • No out of pocket costs or monthly payments for the property owner or tenant(s)
  • Significantly reduces the risk of child lead poisoning
  • Lead remediation process brings home/property into compliance with the law
  • The program, in most instances, is free.

The LeadSafe Homes Program staff can also assist with facilitating these conversations and may reach out to your property owner on your behalf.  We find that most property owners welcome the opportunity and are open to exploring the benefits of the program with their tenants.

Contact us to request more information

or find out if you’re eligible