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Overview:
Part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) is responsible for helping to eliminate health problems caused by lead-based paint in privately-owned and low-income housing. Using scientific research and grants, OHHLHC helps local communities to address their own lead paint exposure. Additionally, OHHLHC enforces HUD’s lead-based paint regulations. Controversies that the office has been swept into range from personnel problems inside the agency to disputes with advocacy groups regarding how OHHLHC’s grants are awarded. 
 
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the 1940s, lead oxide has been used in almost every kind of household paint because of its ability to cover better than other substances. However, as titanium dioxide, a white pigment superior to lead oxide, became cheaper, the use of lead oxide in paints diminished. Another factor affecting this transition was a National Safety Council pamphlet of 1978 that warned about the levels of lead found in common household paints. This led to additional regulations that limited the amount of lead to be used in these paints. 
 
Also in the 1970s, scientists were finding that lead was causing health problems for people living in privately-owned and low-income housing. Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause health problems affecting the brain, kidneys, nerves and blood. These effects are more prevalent in children who had been eating paint chips in their homes. However, lead was also subsequently found in dust that had settled on floors, walls and furniture. Some of the health problems caused were behavioral problems and learning disabilities. In extreme cases, children even died from exposure to lead. 
 
In response, HUD created the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control in 1991 to help state and local governments assess their exposure to lead-based paints and help them eliminate any health problems caused by this exposure.
 

Congress passed the

Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (PDF), also known as Title X. This law helped to protect the public from lead exposure through paint, dust and soil, and Section 1018 of this law required HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to gather information about lead-based paint and potential health hazards before the sale or lease of any housing built before 1978. This resulted in increased safety for buyers and renters of housing built before 1978. According to the law, they are to receive information that allows them to protect themselves from lead-based paint exposure.

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The OHHLHC is responsible for providing funds (in the way of grants) and information to state and local governments to help alleviate the threat of lead poisoning in privately- owned and low-income housing. By sharing cost-effective ways to diminish the health hazards of lead-based paint, they help decrease instances of asthma, allergies and lead poisoning. Outreach also includes the availability of downloadable lead paint safety guides, coloring pages for kids and a hotline to gather more information on possible exposure to lead-based paints.
 
OHHLHC also conducts technical studies on the effects of lead poisoning, and enforces HUD’s policies on the safe use of lead-based paints. The agency provides training for Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspectors, realtors and appraisers to learn how to assess possible lead paint damage to existing homes.
 
Among OHHLHC’s five divisions are:
  • The Programs Division (PMAD), which manages OHHLHC’s lead-based paint regulations, provides outreach to the general public and oversees technical studies on the effects of lead exposure on human health.
  • The Regional Management and Technical Services Division, which assists recipients of OHHLHC grants and stakeholders with program and technical support. As part of HUD’s field offices, these employees serve as regional contacts for all activities. 
  • The Lead Programs Enforcement Division which ensures regulatory compliance for the HUD’s lead-based paint policies by issuing the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule and the Lead Safe Housing Rule.
  • The Grants Services Division, which assists with administrative needs and provides oversight for all of OHHLHC’s grants and cooperative agreements. 
  • The Policy and Standards Division, which is responsible for developing healthy homes guidelines along with standards for reducing exposure to lead-based paints. This division also oversees all of the agency’s research studies and provides technical assistance for OHHLHC and HUD policies going forward.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2005, the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control distributed $123 million in grants to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards in thousands of privately owned, low-income housing units. These funds were provided through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs. In addition, HUD’s Operation LEAP (Lead Elimination Action Program) provided $4 million to encourage private sector contributions to reduce the risk of lead ingestion among children. HUD also awarded $2.3 million in Lead Outreach grants for public education campaigns on what parents, building owners and others can do to protect children. Further, nearly $1.7 million assisted research to study methods to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of lead hazard control strategies.
 
A sampling of the recipients of the 2005 grants are as follows:
Arizona
  • City of Phoenix - $3,000,000
California
  • Esperanza Community Housing Corporation - $975,000
  • City of Los Angeles - $7,500,000
  • Riverside County, Dept. Of Public Health - $3,000,000
  • San Diego Housing Commission - $7,000,000
Colorado
  • City and County of Denver - $1,799,168
Connecticut
  • City of New Britain - $3,000,000
  • City of New Haven - $3,000,000
  • City of Waterbury - $3,000,000
Iowa
·        City of Cedar Rapids - $2,652,075
·        City of Marshalltown - $2,275,427
Illinois
·        City of Chicago - $7,000,000
·        City of Rock Island - $1,896,834
Indiana
·        Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County - $2,974,839
Kentucky
·        Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government - $2,667,659
Maine
·        Maine State Housing Authority - $3,000,000
Massachusetts
·        Commonwealth of Massachusetts - $3,000,000
·        President & Fellows of Harvard College - $721,066
·        City of Lowell - $3,000,000
Maryland
·        Coalition To End Childhood Lead Poisoning - $2,000,000
Michigan
·        City of Grand Rapids - $4,000,000
·        State of Michigan - $989,717
Minnesota
·        Hennepin County - $3,782,246
Missouri
·        Kansas City Missouri Health Department - $2,749,872
·        Kansas City Missouri Health Department - $287,669
Nebraska
·        City of Omaha - $2,000,000
New York
·        County of Erie - $3,500,000
·        Chautauqua County - $2,196,257
·        City of New York - $7,500,000
Ohio
·        City of Akron - $4,000,000
Oregon
·        Multnomah County Health Department - $998,874
Tennessee
·        City of Memphis - $4,000,000
Texas
·        City of Fort Worth - $3,000,000
·        Houston Department of Health and Human Services - $3,000,000
Virginia

·       

City of Lynchburg - $2,998,991

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Homes Office Outsourcing Questioned
In April of 2005, HUD staff admitted that they had begun an investigation of the Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control grant award process. An October 2004 request from the Alliance for Healthy Homes showed that the agency had outsourced review of all 2004 lead hazard control and healthy homes grant applications to an outside contractor without ensuring that contract reviewers were qualified or trained to evaluate the more than 200 funding proposals HUD received.
 
HUD Secretary Tries to Fire Lead Expert
In 2004, HUD Secretary Alphonse Jackson notified Dave Jacobs, director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC), that he would be fired for cause. However, Jacobs refuted the charges and more than 60 individuals wrote letters of support to Secretary Jackson to express their confidence in Jacobs’ leadership. 
 
During Jacobs’ nine-year tenure at OHHLHC, it is believed he was responsible for many of the gains made by the agency. He is widely considered the country’s leading expert on lead poisoning prevention and healthy homes. After supporters protested his removal, HUD Secretary Jackson reassigned Jacobs to a special assistant post in the Office of Community Planning and Development. Under federal personnel rules, senior executives have no grounds to appeal reassignments of this nature.
Jacobs Cleared of Charges, Shuffled Aside (Alliance for Healthy Homes)
 
Scientists Question Use of Biosolids in Baltimore Lead Testing
In 2000, studies done by OHHLHC scientists to determine the amount of lead in Baltimore soil stirred controversy when scientists used biosolids to dilute lead-in-soil concentrations. These biosolids included highly treated sewage waste, which scientists discovered reduced lead levels almost 70%. However, they theorized that if children were to ingest the treated soil, most of the lead would pass through their bodies without entering the bloodstream. 
 
A Kennedy Krieger press release issued on May 1, 2008, stated that researchers were not aware of any risks of human exposure to biosolids and compost. Some scientists disagreed, saying that treated biosolids can contain other heavy metals, traces of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that could cause a health risk to humans.

NAACP Questions Sludge Study Methods

(by Dennis O’Brien, Baltimore Sun)

 

more
Former Directors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Jacobs

Dave Jacobs served as the Director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) from 1995 to 2004. He was reassigned to a special assistant post in the Office of Community Planning and Development in 2004 by HUD Secretary Alphonse Jackson.

 

 

more

Comments

Rubis Collado 7 years ago
to whom it may concern; my name it rubis collado, we have a 3 family home in 23 elizabeth st waterbury ct, we applied for the lead program 3 years ago, we have a tenant with 3 children, i have a son 11 years old with noonan syndrome a heart condition, poor muscle tone, he already have 11 surgeries, the healthy home, make is imposible to qualify for the program, my question is why they make it to hard for us family in need to qualified for the program and when their aministrator w...

Leave a comment

Bookmark and Share
Overview:
Part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) is responsible for helping to eliminate health problems caused by lead-based paint in privately-owned and low-income housing. Using scientific research and grants, OHHLHC helps local communities to address their own lead paint exposure. Additionally, OHHLHC enforces HUD’s lead-based paint regulations. Controversies that the office has been swept into range from personnel problems inside the agency to disputes with advocacy groups regarding how OHHLHC’s grants are awarded. 
 
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the 1940s, lead oxide has been used in almost every kind of household paint because of its ability to cover better than other substances. However, as titanium dioxide, a white pigment superior to lead oxide, became cheaper, the use of lead oxide in paints diminished. Another factor affecting this transition was a National Safety Council pamphlet of 1978 that warned about the levels of lead found in common household paints. This led to additional regulations that limited the amount of lead to be used in these paints. 
 
Also in the 1970s, scientists were finding that lead was causing health problems for people living in privately-owned and low-income housing. Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause health problems affecting the brain, kidneys, nerves and blood. These effects are more prevalent in children who had been eating paint chips in their homes. However, lead was also subsequently found in dust that had settled on floors, walls and furniture. Some of the health problems caused were behavioral problems and learning disabilities. In extreme cases, children even died from exposure to lead. 
 
In response, HUD created the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control in 1991 to help state and local governments assess their exposure to lead-based paints and help them eliminate any health problems caused by this exposure.
 

Congress passed the

Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (PDF), also known as Title X. This law helped to protect the public from lead exposure through paint, dust and soil, and Section 1018 of this law required HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to gather information about lead-based paint and potential health hazards before the sale or lease of any housing built before 1978. This resulted in increased safety for buyers and renters of housing built before 1978. According to the law, they are to receive information that allows them to protect themselves from lead-based paint exposure.

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The OHHLHC is responsible for providing funds (in the way of grants) and information to state and local governments to help alleviate the threat of lead poisoning in privately- owned and low-income housing. By sharing cost-effective ways to diminish the health hazards of lead-based paint, they help decrease instances of asthma, allergies and lead poisoning. Outreach also includes the availability of downloadable lead paint safety guides, coloring pages for kids and a hotline to gather more information on possible exposure to lead-based paints.
 
OHHLHC also conducts technical studies on the effects of lead poisoning, and enforces HUD’s policies on the safe use of lead-based paints. The agency provides training for Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspectors, realtors and appraisers to learn how to assess possible lead paint damage to existing homes.
 
Among OHHLHC’s five divisions are:
  • The Programs Division (PMAD), which manages OHHLHC’s lead-based paint regulations, provides outreach to the general public and oversees technical studies on the effects of lead exposure on human health.
  • The Regional Management and Technical Services Division, which assists recipients of OHHLHC grants and stakeholders with program and technical support. As part of HUD’s field offices, these employees serve as regional contacts for all activities. 
  • The Lead Programs Enforcement Division which ensures regulatory compliance for the HUD’s lead-based paint policies by issuing the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule and the Lead Safe Housing Rule.
  • The Grants Services Division, which assists with administrative needs and provides oversight for all of OHHLHC’s grants and cooperative agreements. 
  • The Policy and Standards Division, which is responsible for developing healthy homes guidelines along with standards for reducing exposure to lead-based paints. This division also oversees all of the agency’s research studies and provides technical assistance for OHHLHC and HUD policies going forward.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2005, the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control distributed $123 million in grants to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards in thousands of privately owned, low-income housing units. These funds were provided through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs. In addition, HUD’s Operation LEAP (Lead Elimination Action Program) provided $4 million to encourage private sector contributions to reduce the risk of lead ingestion among children. HUD also awarded $2.3 million in Lead Outreach grants for public education campaigns on what parents, building owners and others can do to protect children. Further, nearly $1.7 million assisted research to study methods to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of lead hazard control strategies.
 
A sampling of the recipients of the 2005 grants are as follows:
Arizona
  • City of Phoenix - $3,000,000
California
  • Esperanza Community Housing Corporation - $975,000
  • City of Los Angeles - $7,500,000
  • Riverside County, Dept. Of Public Health - $3,000,000
  • San Diego Housing Commission - $7,000,000
Colorado
  • City and County of Denver - $1,799,168
Connecticut
  • City of New Britain - $3,000,000
  • City of New Haven - $3,000,000
  • City of Waterbury - $3,000,000
Iowa
·        City of Cedar Rapids - $2,652,075
·        City of Marshalltown - $2,275,427
Illinois
·        City of Chicago - $7,000,000
·        City of Rock Island - $1,896,834
Indiana
·        Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County - $2,974,839
Kentucky
·        Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government - $2,667,659
Maine
·        Maine State Housing Authority - $3,000,000
Massachusetts
·        Commonwealth of Massachusetts - $3,000,000
·        President & Fellows of Harvard College - $721,066
·        City of Lowell - $3,000,000
Maryland
·        Coalition To End Childhood Lead Poisoning - $2,000,000
Michigan
·        City of Grand Rapids - $4,000,000
·        State of Michigan - $989,717
Minnesota
·        Hennepin County - $3,782,246
Missouri
·        Kansas City Missouri Health Department - $2,749,872
·        Kansas City Missouri Health Department - $287,669
Nebraska
·        City of Omaha - $2,000,000
New York
·        County of Erie - $3,500,000
·        Chautauqua County - $2,196,257
·        City of New York - $7,500,000
Ohio
·        City of Akron - $4,000,000
Oregon
·        Multnomah County Health Department - $998,874
Tennessee
·        City of Memphis - $4,000,000
Texas
·        City of Fort Worth - $3,000,000
·        Houston Department of Health and Human Services - $3,000,000
Virginia

·       

City of Lynchburg - $2,998,991

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Homes Office Outsourcing Questioned
In April of 2005, HUD staff admitted that they had begun an investigation of the Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control grant award process. An October 2004 request from the Alliance for Healthy Homes showed that the agency had outsourced review of all 2004 lead hazard control and healthy homes grant applications to an outside contractor without ensuring that contract reviewers were qualified or trained to evaluate the more than 200 funding proposals HUD received.
 
HUD Secretary Tries to Fire Lead Expert
In 2004, HUD Secretary Alphonse Jackson notified Dave Jacobs, director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC), that he would be fired for cause. However, Jacobs refuted the charges and more than 60 individuals wrote letters of support to Secretary Jackson to express their confidence in Jacobs’ leadership. 
 
During Jacobs’ nine-year tenure at OHHLHC, it is believed he was responsible for many of the gains made by the agency. He is widely considered the country’s leading expert on lead poisoning prevention and healthy homes. After supporters protested his removal, HUD Secretary Jackson reassigned Jacobs to a special assistant post in the Office of Community Planning and Development. Under federal personnel rules, senior executives have no grounds to appeal reassignments of this nature.
Jacobs Cleared of Charges, Shuffled Aside (Alliance for Healthy Homes)
 
Scientists Question Use of Biosolids in Baltimore Lead Testing
In 2000, studies done by OHHLHC scientists to determine the amount of lead in Baltimore soil stirred controversy when scientists used biosolids to dilute lead-in-soil concentrations. These biosolids included highly treated sewage waste, which scientists discovered reduced lead levels almost 70%. However, they theorized that if children were to ingest the treated soil, most of the lead would pass through their bodies without entering the bloodstream. 
 
A Kennedy Krieger press release issued on May 1, 2008, stated that researchers were not aware of any risks of human exposure to biosolids and compost. Some scientists disagreed, saying that treated biosolids can contain other heavy metals, traces of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that could cause a health risk to humans.

NAACP Questions Sludge Study Methods

(by Dennis O’Brien, Baltimore Sun)

 

more
Former Directors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Jacobs

Dave Jacobs served as the Director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) from 1995 to 2004. He was reassigned to a special assistant post in the Office of Community Planning and Development in 2004 by HUD Secretary Alphonse Jackson.

 

 

more

Comments

Rubis Collado 7 years ago
to whom it may concern; my name it rubis collado, we have a 3 family home in 23 elizabeth st waterbury ct, we applied for the lead program 3 years ago, we have a tenant with 3 children, i have a son 11 years old with noonan syndrome a heart condition, poor muscle tone, he already have 11 surgeries, the healthy home, make is imposible to qualify for the program, my question is why they make it to hard for us family in need to qualified for the program and when their aministrator w...

Leave a comment