DeLauro Introduces Bill to Address Lead in Homes, Housing Code Violations
WASHINGTON, DC (May 8, 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today introduced new legislation requiring cities and towns to digitize their most recent three years of housing code violations in an easy, accessible manner if they receive federal funding through the United States Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Currently, many cities and towns require individuals to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in order to see if a property has had housing code violations, such as lead-based paint, issues with insects or vermin, and other health or safety violations. The Know Your Home Act would ensure prospective renters can just type in the address of the home they are interested in into an online portal to see the property’s history of housing code issues.
“Lead poisoning is a national crisis. Many associate this problem solely with Flint, Michigan, where families continue to live in fear of their faucets,” said DeLauro. “Yet, here in Connecticut, hundreds of thousands of homes have lead paint and old pipes, and our children are being poisoned. That is heartbreaking, especially because the problem is entirely preventable.”
“People should be able to know if the apartment they are thinking about renting has past issues that could put them and their family’s health and safety at risk. The Know Your Home Act helps address that problem,” continued DeLauro. “Cities and towns will be responsible for posting housing code violations online so that renters have all the facts before making a decision. Renters in Connecticut and across the country deserve that basic level of accountability from their local government so landlords do not take advantage of them.”
According to recently released information from the New Haven Health Department, as many as 1 in 8 New Haven children may suffer from lead poisoning by the time they enter kindergarten. Nationwide, there are at least 4 million homes with young children exposed to high levels of lead according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DeLauro serves as Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.