Cleveland, OH. - Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) joins a national environmental justice law firm Earthjustice. The groups are advocating for Congress to pass the Lead-Safe Kids Act.
The Lead Safe Housing for Kids Act (LSHKA) would require owners of HUD-assisted housing to test their properties for lead hazards before renting the home to tenants. LSHKA would cover public housing, privately owned assisted housing, and properties receiving housing choice vouchers with a child under six years of age.
Cleveland's Lead Safe Certificate Program currently covers privately owned assisted housing and properties receiving housing choice vouchers. Still, properties owned by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority fail to be covered by Cleveland's ordinance as per the press release. With Congress's help, LSHKA would increase the protection of all tenants living in HUD-assisted housing within the State of Ohio.
Darrick Wade, a founding member of CLASH, says: "It is time for HUD to adopt a primary prevention strategy for addressing lead in federally assisted housing. Preventing lead exposure is cheaper than fixing the problem after a child suffers from poison; not only cheaper but morally imperative.…." Darrick's son Demetrius Wade died due to lead exposure at Cleveland's Lakeview Terrace Estate.
According to CLASH, the Government Accountability Office has reported the gap in HUD programming around the lead paint issue for two decades.
CLASH cites three recent examples:
- The Danger of Lead Paint Hazards in Two HUD Programs
- Lead Paint in Housing: Key Considerations for Adopting Stricter Lead Evaluation Methods in HUD's Voucher Program
- Lead Paint in Housing: HUD has not Identified High-Risk Project-Based Rental Assistance Properties.
According to the organization's website, Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) is an all-volunteer, primarily self-funded coalition of nine organizations working to make Cleveland Lead Safe. CLASH advocates for complete and timely implementation of the Cleveland Lead Safe Certificate ordinance and expanding the scope of safe lead protections for Clevelanders at risk of lead poisoning.
For more information about CLASH initiatives, readers should Clashcle.org.