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State Funding

bulletTANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) money passes from the Federal government through state hands as a block grant and the state has the authority to impose additional requirements on the program.  So even if the Feds don’t require that TANF –supported housing be lead safe, the State could do so.
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Similarly, the State could offer its own tax relief for lead hazard control work.  Status, no action

New York State Property Code

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These proposals are complicated by the fact that NYS property/building code says nothing about lead hazards in housing.  Worse, the state requires municipalities to follow that standard building code, making it difficult for counties and cities to enact more effective policies.

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We need a state building code that requires housing to be lead safe.  Failing a change in the state code, we need acknowledgement from the state that counties and cities are free to enact their own codes to protect our children. 

            Status:  The Building Codes Council is convening; testimony was presented on this issue but there is little likelihood of action.

New York State Health Code

bulletThe state does address lead poisoning in the health code – but only after a child has been poisoned. 
bullet The level of poisoning for a particular child at which a house is deemed so dangerous that it must be assessed and fixed  is higher than the CDC acknowledges is hazardous to a child’s health.  And current research suggests that even lower levels than the CDC indicates is dangerous cause brain damage.  It would be prudent of the state to lower the level of blood lead that triggers an environmental assessment
bulletCurrently, there is no requirement for a clearance test to assure the property owner and resident that a house is indeed safe after health department ordered work is complete.  There is substantial evidence that lead hazard control work frequently needs further work or clean up before the lead hazard is really gone.  A simple wipe test would assure the family that the house is safe for their children.  NY is one of only 10 states that do not require this clearance test; we should change that requirement immediately. 

Status:  on both of these we have made requests to the state; the part of the sanitary code that addresses the issue is up for revision; state officials have not been supportive.

Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning 

Committed to ending childhood lead poisoning in Monroe County by 2010

For more information, contact:  pbrantingham@leadsafeby2010.org