The Real Deal New York

The city has never sued a landlord for failure to inspect lead paint, 10 years after introducing law

A new report comes weeks after the city admitted 1,160 children who live in public housing have tested positive for dangerous levels of lead
September 25, 2018 05:01PM

New York City Housing Authority Jefferson Houses at 310 East 115th Street (Credit: iStock)

Just weeks after city officials acknowledged more than 1,000 children have suffered high levels of lead exposure in public housing, a new report has found that the city has never sued landlords for failing to inspect lead paint in apartments.

Despite the introduction of a law passed in 2004 that required landlords to conduct inspections on apartments, a report conducted by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest found that not a single landlord had been punished for failing to meet the law, the New York Post reported. The onus would fall on the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“We know they’re [landlords] not doing it because the residents continue to complain and the city continues to find lead paint,” said Rachel Spector, who led the study. Under the law, all apartments built before 1960 must be inspected annually if a child younger than six lives in the unit.

The finding comes shortly after city officials admitted that 1,160 children living in public housing have been exposed to dangerous lead levels since 2012. Between 2015 and 2017, about 130 children in public housing aged below six tested positive for lead each year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to ramp up lead-testing in public housing where lead paint may have been used. The new efforts are expected to start next year, and will cost $80 million to inspect 130,000 apartments. [NYP] — David Jeans