|TANF (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. |
Similarly, the State could offer its own tax
relief for lead hazard control work. Status, no action
New York State Property Code
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.
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
|The state does address lead poisoning in the health code – but only after
a child has been poisoned. |
| 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|
|Currently, 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.