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Implementation of Toledo's lead-safe law to be delayed due to coronavirus

Complying with the existing law as the COVID-19 pandemic began this year was unrealistic and too difficult for property owners and tenants, the city said.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Implementation of Toledo’s lead-safe law, which Toledo City Council passed in November, 2019, and requires that all residential rental properties and family child-care homes built prior to 1978 obtain lead-safe certificates, will be delayed through a proposal to enact a new ordinance that creates a new set of deadlines for compliance, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said.

Complying with the existing law as the COVID-19 pandemic began this year was unrealistic and too difficult for property owners and tenants, the city said.

The existing law sets compliance deadlines that would start phasing in by census tract. It requires the first group to be certified by June 30, 2020, the second by June 30, 2021, and the third by June 30, 2022.

“We plan to continue to work with the Lead Coalition, City Council, and the community to set new, reasonable compliance dates,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “Our goal is to make sure every home in Toledo is lead-safe and that every child can grow up without the terrible effects of lead poisoning.”

Officials plan to present proposed amendments to the Lead Coalition and City Council no later than Aug. 31. The administration’s goals include:

  • Reconvening the Toledo Lead Safe Coalition.
  • Exploring the potential of a Lead Safe Fund to assist with loans and grants to aid landlord compliance.
  • Hire a City of Toledo lead coordinator.
  • Hire a public relations consultant to develop and implement a lead poisoning 
  • prevention strategic communications campaign. There is currently $50,000 
  • budgeted to hire a firm.
  • Dedicate $500,000 of Community Development Block Grant funding through 
  • 2021 to assist with lead compliance.
  • Develop an initiative to train and certify lead inspectors and workers.
  • Partner with the Ohio Department of Medicaid State Children’s Health Insurance 
  • Program to complete lead remediation of 20 properties in at-risk census tracts 
  • beginning July 1, 2020.
  • Continue implementation of Toledo’s federally-funded Lead-Based Paint Hazard 
  • Control Grant. There is $2.5 million budgeted for the program.

The City of Toledo Department of Neighborhoods will provide oversight and monitor the amended ordinance. There will be contracts with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department for inspections. 

The health department will issue the following lead-safe certificates:

  • Lead-Safe Certificate required for 1-4 unit residential rental properties and family child care homes constructed prior to Jan. 1, 1978.
  • Lead-Safe Certificate is issued after passing a visual and dust wipe inspection.
  • Lead-Safe Certificate is valid for five years, except where the property had undergone a full lead assessment, lead control performed by a lead licensed contractor, and a full clearance by a licensed lead assessor, in which case a 20-year certification is issued.

There will be a five-year phase in by census tract. Hardship exemptions will be available and can be granted by the director of neighborhoods, subject to appeal to the Nuisance Abatement Housing Appeals Board.

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