The Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes - Primary Prevention Program (PPP), a joint initiative between HPD and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), offers federally-funded grants for reduction of lead paint hazards and other health risks to owners of residential buildings constructed prior to 1960.
The primary purpose of the program is to assist owners in reducing lead paint hazards in order to prevent lead poisoning of occupants – especially children. Peeling or cracking lead paint is the most common cause of lead poisoning in young children, who can swallow lead dust that lands on window sills, floors, and toys. The program also has some funding to address conditions that pose other health risks to occupants, including excess moisture that leads to mold growth; vermin infestation; conditions that pose the risk of falls or other injuries; fire and electrical hazards; and others.
Buildings constructed prior to 1960, including small homes and multifamily apartment buildings of any size, located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens. The building must have lead-based paint that is not intact as determined by lead risk assessments performed by the program inspectors. The building or home must be occupied by households with low- and very low-income levels, and at least one or more unit must house a child less than six years of age or a pregnant woman, or be visited by young children on a regular basis.
Once an application passes an eligibility screening, HPD tests the property for lead paint hazards. Based on inspection results, a scope of work for lead hazard reduction is developed. A typical scope includes a mixture of partial abatement (removal and replacement of lead-positive components such as doors, door frames, window frames, window sills and baseboards) and “interim control” treatment such as wet-scraping and painting of walls. The common areas from lobby to bulkhead and external fire escapes are also treated if necessary. Conditions posing other (non-lead) potential health risk will also be assessed and repairs to address these may be included in the scope of work. The work must be done by licensed, EPA-certified lead contractors, and HPD will oversee the work.
The grants are provided as forgivable loans, averaging $8,000 - $10,000 per apartment. In exchange for this assistance, owners of rental buildings must agree, for five years following the lead treatment work, to rent any new vacancies to low- and very low-income tenants, giving priority to families with young children.
For more information on the loan terms, see the PPP term sheet.
Sarah Hovde, Director, Primary Prevention Program