New Lead Law Strengthens Philadelphia Requirements for Landlords, Including Public Housing

Philadelphia expanded its anti-lead law to cover many more rental units in the city in legislation signed Tuesday that further decreases the chance of lead poisoning in housing across the city.

The new law builds on 2011 legislation that first tackled lead poisoning in homes across Philadelphia. All rentals in the city now must have lead certification before new tenants can move in, except properties built after 1978 and college dormitories.

Under the 2011 law, properties owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Section 8 housing and rentals for college students had been exempt — but no longer.

Lead paint on a window inside a home in Philadelphia.

"The passage of the legislation on lead certification in rental properties makes Philadelphia a national leader when it comes to lead poisoning prevention in children," retiring Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown said in a statement. She sponsored the legislation.

The law comes on the heels of three years' reporting by the NBC10 Investigators on lead in public housing. The Inquirer also tackled the problem in a yearlong series.

A Philadelphia councilwoman who proposed improvements to the city’s 2011 law on lead poisoning said she fully expects a vote on the new legislation before the end of 2019.
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