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Cleveland City Council passes legislation requiring all residential rental units built before 1978 to be certified lead-safe

The legislation seeks to ensure that children are not exposed to poisonous lead dust in their homes

CLEVELAND — Cleveland City Council is taking a first step in its battle to make the city lead-safe.

In June,council introduced legislation that would require all residential rental units constructed before 1978 to have lead-safe certification no later than March 1, 2023. The city would begin issuing certificates on March 1, 2021. 

On Wednesday, they approved the measure. 

Landlords whose properties undergo the testing and receive lead-safe certification would not be required to re-test for two years. 

“This legislation is very important and a strong step forward to make Cleveland lead safe,” said Councilman Blaine Griffin, chairman of council’s Health and Human Services Committee in a statement. “We need to see what commitments will be made by all sectors of our community to ensure the efforts are successful. We will need significant commitments and support from the private, philanthropic, county, state and federal partners to help provide funding to support this effort. The city of Cleveland cannot do this alone.”

WATCH | Members of Cleveland City Council discussed the new legislation on Facebook Live prior to Monday's meeting. 

\The legislation comes as council continues to work closely with the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, formed earlier this year to help address the growing lead poisoning problem. The policy committee of the coalition recently finalized 33 recommendations it presented to council for consideration in the new legislation. 

Included in the legislation proposed is the creation of a Lead-Safe Auditor position as well as a Lead-Safe Advisory Board, which will provide council and the city progress reports and recommendations.

The legislation also calls for the establishment of a Lead Screening and Testing Commission, made up of physicians, health care organizations and public health experts to set up best practices to ensure coordination of screening and testing services for families. Also recommended is the establishment of a Lead Safe Housing Action Board that will work with families that might be displaced because of the new requirements. 

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