Hello Property Owners!

RIHousing’s LeadSafe Homes Program can help property owners reduce the dangers of lead and other environmental hazards in their homes and investment properties.

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RIHousing LeadSafe Homes

The LeadSafe Homes Program provides forgivable loans to cover the costs associated with addressing lead paint problems and other unsafe conditions.

  • Provides forgivable loans to property owners to cover the costs associated with addressing lead-paint problems and other unsafe conditions
  • Property owners are subject to no out-of-pocket expenses or monthly payments
  • In most instances, after 3-5 years the loan is forgiven, meaning there is no cost to participate in this program.
  • In most instances, assistance is free
  • Homes built before 1978 (the year that lead was banned from paint) are eligible for the assistance

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.

Why should I be concerned about lead paint?

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.

For more information on the dangers of lead poisoning for children and pregnant women, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program page.

How can RIHousing help?

RIHousing’s LeadSafe Homes Program provides remediation of lead-paint based hazards, such as new windows and doors, interior and exterior painting and 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.

In most instances, all assistance is free. Properties are inspected for lead paint and healthy home hazards, and if hazards are present then remediation efforts are utilized. The LeadSafe Homes Program team works closely with property owners (and tenants, if present) throughout the whole process.

Submit an application today.

How do I know if my property is eligible for the program?

Both single-family and multifamily properties are eligible to participate. You do not need to live on the property to qualify. With multifamily homes, RIHousing works with the property owner to engage the tenants.

The main eligibility criteria is the home having been built prior to 1978, the year lead was banned from paint. A LeadSafe Homes Program team member can work with you to discuss additional eligibility criteria.

Contact a LeadSafeHomes Program team member today.

How do I know if my home has lead paint in it?

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. If your home was built after 1978 there is likely no lead paint present. The most common sources of lead-paint based hazards are lead-contaminated dust, peeling and chipped lead paint and contaminated soil. A certified lead inspector can tell you if there are lead-paint based hazards in your home; an inspection is conducted as part of the LeadSafe Homes Program. Property owners can also schedule their own lead inspections.

A list of inspectors from State of Rhode Island Department of Health can be found here.

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How much will the remediation cost me?

In most circumstances, assistance will be free.

There are no out-of-pocket expenses or monthly payments. Typically, the program is in the form of a 3-5 year forgivable loan: Owner occupied homes are eligible for a 3-year forgivable loan and investor-owned properties are eligible for a 5-year forgivable loan.

A forgivable loan is one you do not have to pay back as long as you meet certain conditions. If the property owner sells, transfers or refinances the property during the 3-5 years, then they may need to repay.

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

Both landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities when it comes to lead paint. Click here to learn more.

Program Benefits

  • Having a property that is in compliance with the Rhode Island Lead Hazard Mitigation Act
  • Knowing your home is safe for children to live or visit
  • In most cases, homeowners receive no-cost remediation, typically valued at $7,500 per unit
  • In some cases, access to resources that will address non-lead related health hazards

Lead Remediation Process – Property Owners

Submit an application

  • If you own a multifamily property, both you and the tenants must submit an application

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 leadsafe certificate, something most homes in RI are required by law to have.
1. APPLICATION

Submit an application

  • If you own a multifamily property, both you and the tenants must submit an 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 leadsafe certificate, something most homes in RI are required by law to have.
What happens if my tenant doesn’t want to let us remediate lead hazards in their apartment?

As part of the application process, both property owners and tenants must fill out applications. The information collected is kept confidential within RIHousing.

If tenants are hesitant to fill out an application and participate, RIHousing will work with the property owner to educate the tenant(s) on the benefits of the program. RIHousing is also available to speak directly with tenants and discuss their questions and concerns. Ultimately, the property owner has the right to ensure their home is safe of lead hazards.

Do I have a responsibility to provide lead safe apartments?

Yes. All property owners are required to provide healthy and safe homes that are free of lead hazards.

What will be required of me once the lead remediation is complete?

In exchange for receiving this assistance, owners of multifamily properties are required to prioritize renting the units that received assistance to households with children under 6 years old, and to keep rents at a certain level. These requirements are only for the life of the forgivable loan (typically 3-5 years). After the loan is forgiven, landlords no longer have any compliance requirements for the program. All Rhode Island landlords are required by state law to keep their lead safe Certificate of Conformance current (except owner-occupied buildings with three or less units).

Contact us to request more information

or find out if you’re eligible