TOLEDO, Ohio — Editor's note: The above video aired on Nov. 12, 2019.
Toledo City Council approved Tuesday a new lead ordinance aimed at addressing the consequences of lead exposure and assist property owners.
“Successful cities take bold actions, and today city council adopted a plan to ensure every child in Toledo can grow up without the terrible effects of lead poisoning,” Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. “We believe the new law will help us meet that challenge while we work with the Lead Coalition, landlords, tenants, and other community members.”
An “Early Bird Match Grant” will be available for property owners subject to the new law. The Toledo Department of Neighborhoods will offer a 50/50 matching grant, up to $5,000 per unit, for lead remediation and maintenance work to help property owners. The designated funding includes $1 million to assist property owners with compliance throughout the city and $200,000 each for three low-moderate income target areas – Junction/Englewood, East Toledo, and the Old South End. The city is also creating a resource portal to provide a “one-stop-shop” for questions, registration, and more, at www.ToledoLeadSafe.com.
The city’s lead-safe coordinator will develop ongoing outreach and financial assistance opportunities while the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department will continue to provide educational training for owners and agents who want to become compliant. The health department will host weekly training classes for local lead inspectors beginning in January 2021.
“Our approach will also include aggressive communications and outreach campaign to educate tenants, landlords, and homeowners on lead poisoning prevention and the new law requirements, as well as financial tools and incentives to help our landlords comply,” Department of Neighborhoods Director Rosalyn Clemens said.
Owners who previously received a lead-safe certificate in good faith, or passed a local lead inspection under previous versions of the ordinance, will be grandfathered-in.
The city continues to manage a number of programs to assist with lead abatement:
- Continue execution of $2.9 million for 160 identified homes under HUD Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes
- Awarded an additional $5.7 million, which is the largest lead hazard control award the city has ever received
- $500,000 for children also on Medicaid
- $300,000 targeted through Historic South Initiative neighborhood
- $1.2 million through the health department’s BP lead settlement
The new lead law, titled “Residential Rental Properties and Lead Safety Compliance,” is based on the language of the 2016 ordinance and created in partnership with community stakeholders. It is the policy of the City of Toledo to help prevent the poisoning of residents by requiring that the presence of deteriorated paint, bare soil, and lead dust on the interior and exterior of pre-1978 residential structures be identified and correctly addressed in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines to prevent potential human exposure to lead hazards.
The new law targets 1-4-unit rentals and childcare homes built prior to 1978. The Department of Neighborhoods will coordinate, the Code Enforcement Division will enforce, and the health department will issue 5- and 20-year lead-safe certificates, according to the law. The compliance deadline set by the law is June 30, 2022, for initial census tracts that are most at-risk. A five-year phase-in schedule, with six-month increments, will be established for remaining census tracts. An updated map of the census tracts can be found at www.ToledoLeadSafe.com.
All fees related to the lead-safe certificates will be deposited in the Lead Ordinance Fund and all fines related to enforcement of the proposed law will be deposited into the Nuisance Abatement Trust Fund, to be used exclusively for the administration, implementation, and enforcement of the law.