Helping Make NYCHA Safer
Lead Safe Housing
NYCHA’s Lead-Safe Housing Policy states that NYCHA must follow lead-based paint rules in apartments, common areas, and exterior areas in target housing. Target housing is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as any housing built before 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities, or any zero-bedroom dwelling, unless a child under 6 years of age resides in the housing. For the purposes of lead-safe housing, the term “resides” is defined by New York City law as routinely spending 10 or more hours per week within an apartment.
NYCHA bases its Lead-Safe Housing Policy on all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations which relate to lead-based paint.
NYCHA also follows New York City Local Law 1, which requires landlords to use certified workers and lead-safe work practices to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in apartments where a child under 6 years of age resides.
Under Local Law 1, lead-based paint hazards are presumed to be in an apartment or common area if:
- The building was built before January 1, 1960
- The building has three or more apartments
- A child under 6 years of age resides in the apartment
In any location where there is presumed to be lead-based paint, NYCHA must follow lead-safe rules when doing any work that could disturb a painted surface. However, if an inspection confirms the location does not have lead-based paint, NYCHA instead can follow regular work practices.
If work must be done to reduce lead-based paint hazards in your home, here is how NYCHA will let you know:
- Occupant Protection Plan and Abatement Notice
- Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Notice for Apartment
- RRP Notice for Common Areas and Exteriors
- RRP Notice for Child-Occupied Facilities
Lead-Based Paint Abatement
There are four situations when NYCHA performs a lead-based paint abatement:
- In developments where an inspection determined that lead-based paint is present, and a previous abatement has not been performed, the apartment is tested for lead-based paint. If the test detects lead-based paint, it is abated.
- When NYCHA receives an NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DOHMH) violation or a court order directing abatement.
- During capital modernization.
- In accordance with requirements under the federal agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Dust Wipe Sampling
As part of our work to create healthier, safer living environments for residents, NYCHA conducts dust wipe sampling to check for lead dust after performing work that may disturb lead-based paint. This work could include plastering, painting, and carpentry as well as lead abatement. Dust wipe samples must be taken at least one hour after an abatement cleaning is completed.
What are dust wipes?
- A dust wipe is a wet wipe that lifts dust from floors, window sills, and window wells.
- Dust wipe samples are required by federal and local law. They are taken in your apartment to make sure that the work performed didn’t leave behind any lead dust hazards and that the work area is safe for your family to re-enter.
- A lab analyzes the dust wipe for the presence of lead.
- Several rounds of dust wipe samples may be taken depending on the repair work that was completed.
What should I expect?
- You will need to provide access to your apartment to NYCHA staff or contractors performing this work. If you are asked to provide access for a lead dust wipe, please comply, as this is a health and safety issue.
- Dust wipe technicians will follow standardized procedures that include using a wet wipe to take a sample from multiple surfaces. Technicians will likely sample floors, window sills, and window troughs.
- Technicians will take the sample after NYCHA staff or a vendor cleans the work area. If the sample can't be taken right away, it will be taken within 24 hours of cleaning.
- You and your family should avoid entering the work area where the dust wipe is performed until after you have received a letter from NYCHA indicating that it is safe to do so. The letter will typically be mailed to you within 48-72 hours after results are received. This is especially important for children who are under 6 years of age.
How are the results used?
- If there is lead dust found above federal or local safety standards, the work area will be re-cleaned, and a new sample will be taken.
- You will be notified of the new sample results, and they will be entered into your tenant file.
Inform NYCHA if Children Live With or Visit You & Learn About Lead Paint, Window Guards, and Stove Knob Covers
Under New York City law, you must tell NYCHA whether a child under 6 years of age lives in and/or routinely spends 10 or more hours each week in your apartment. This information determines NYCHA’s next steps if there is lead-based paint in the apartment.
You must also let NYCHA know if a child under 6 years of age lives in your apartment so that we can provide you with stove knob covers if you request them. In addition, you must tell NYCHA whether a child 10 years or younger lives with you so that window guards can be installed if they are not already installed. You can ask for window guards even if no children live with you.
Every January, NYCHA sends you important notices. You must fill out and return the Annual Lead-Based Paint and Window Guard Notice and the Stove Knob Cover Annual Notice to NYCHA by February 15 every year, regardless of whether a child lives with you. If you misplaced the annual notices, or would like to report changes to your household composition at any time during the year:
- Please visit NYCHA’s Self-Service Portal (https://selfserve.nycha.info) to fill out a questionnaire on whether a child lives with you or regularly visits your apartment.
If a child lives with you:
- In addition to returning the annual notices, add any new household member’s details when you submit your annual or interim recertification form online via NYCHA’s Self-Service Portal at https://selfserve.nycha.info.
- Not online? Request the annual or interim recertification form from your property management office and report the changes to your household composition on that form.
What you should know about lead paint:
- Lead paint, and the dust it turns into, is the most commonly identified source of lead poisoning in children.
- Lead poisoning can cause learning and behavioral problems in children.
- When children put their hands and toys in their mouths, they can swallow lead dust.
Questions about your apartment’s lead status? Visit the Self-Service Portal or contact your property management office.
How to protect your family from lead hazards:
- Report peeling, cracked, or loose paint to NYCHA: Call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771 or use the MyNYCHA app or website (www.nyc.gov/mynycha).
- Wash floors, window sills, hands, toys, and pacifiers often.
- Avoid using products known to contain lead.
- Use only cold tap water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula.
- Remind your doctor to test your child for lead poisoning at ages 1 and 2. Ask your doctor about testing older children if you think they may have been exposed to lead. Pregnant women should be assessed for lead exposure at their first prenatal visit.
For more information, visit:
If you have any questions for NYCHA’s Lead Hazard Control team, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.