posted by on 2005.02.09, under Uncategorized

A little rant here… recently, the State of RI was redefining its stance on Lead Paint after its litigation with the Lead Paint industry. So they passed a law mandating that all homeowners are now responsible for Lead in their home (even though Lead paint has not been on the market since 1978) and MUST remove it from the house and the surrounding soil. The “Innocent Homeowner” clause was removed. And a homeowner must get lead hazard insurance, which is not yet been offered by any insurance company, nor, I have been told, will they even get near the issue. I have taken every reasonable step to remove the threat of lead… everything has been painted and sealed and new wondows have been put on and the house has been scraped and painted, as well as some of the surrounding dirt moved or turned over. Still, according to the law, I am not in compliance.

Basically, what the state is doing, is forcing people to discriminate against renting to families with small children, since they are the ones who are more likely to be effected by high lead levels and also, are most likely to sue. Even if a house is rendered lead free, and the surrounding dirt is also lead free, in the event of litigation, the homeowner needs to prove they have completed these steps, and also prove that the child got sick from someone else’s property. How can we really do this?

My solution? None, I have no idea. But instead of making people want to comply, they have alienated homeowners in RI and many people have told me they will just never rent to kids. Out of the 443,761 housing units in the state (2002 census), 79.8 percent were built before 1980 and therefore, probably have traces of lead paint. That means 351,457 unit are off limits for those who have children. Furthermore, new construction is typically limited to the suburbs and the edges of major cities, pushing people away from the quaint neighborhoods of Providence’s East Side, or historic Newport, for example.

I’m just really mad.

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