On October 3rd, HUD Multifamily released Notice H 2016-10 which directly impacts multifamily subsidized housing programs. In this notice, HUD reminds us all of the dangers of lead poisoning, especially to young children. Lead poisoning has been linked to neurological and mental development issues, and possibly the most tragic part of lead poisoning is that is entirely preventable.
What this means for properties constructed prior to 1978, is that a REAC inspector will soon be inspecting one or more developments within your portfolio. It is imperative that these properties are up to date with their required lead risk assessment or inspection records, and lead disclosure forms!
There are five things HUD REAC inspector’s MUST ask during their interview:
1. Do you have a lead-based paint inspection report? If yes, they will ask for a copy.
2. Do you have lead-based paint free certification? If yes, they will ask for a copy. If no they will ask…
3. Do you have a lead hazard control plan or lead-based paint management plan?
4. Has the property completed its two-year (biennial) lead risk assessment reevaluations conducted since the initial risk assessment was conducted? If yes, the REAC inspector must ask to see all biennial lead reevaluation reports. If you cannot produce all the reports, the REAC inspector is instructed to check “no.”
5. Do you have your required lead based paint disclosure form for leases not exempted? If yes, the REAC inspector will ask for a copy.
For properties constructed prior to 1978, if the REAC inspector is not provided a lead risk assessment, Inspection records and lead-based paint disclosures, then the owner/agent will be required to provide copies of these; documents to the HUD field office after the REAC inspection.
It has also been clarified that there are properties that are exempt from the Lead Safe Housing Rule (LSHR). These properties include:
• Any property constructed after 1978.
• Any property that designated for elderly households only.
• Any property designed for elderly/disabled households only with no children under six years of age.
• Any property is designed for disabled households only with no children under six years of age
It is my impression based on this notice and other sources, any such deficiencies will be required to be corrected per HUD’s terms and non-compliance will raise other concerns and potentially fines or payment hold-ups. Additionally, it should be noted that per HUD, the date of the property is the original date of construction. Substantial rehabilitations or renovations do not change the date of construction.
If your properties are behind or not in compliance, or if you are unsure, work with a professional who has expertise in this very specific, highly regulated and litigious HUD regulatory requirement (24 CFR Part 35), HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule. Lead Paint is regulated by EPA under its Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) as a known poison. Compliance with EPA’s laws in conjunction with HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule and now Notice H 2016-10, becoming a REAC Inspection realty, compliance confirmation is a must! Don’t wait until it’s too late, manage your risk and call LEW Corporation.
Lee Wasserman is the president & CEO of LEW Corporation, Mountainside, N.J.