The Healthy & Lead-Safe Homes Program provides technical assistance at no cost to the property owner in the form of comprehensive lead paint testing, risk assessment, specification development, bidding and contractor selection assistance, construction management, clearance testing, and follow-up inspections.
Funds available to pay for the required work are in the form of grants and 0% interest deferred loans with up to 100% forgiveness amount on the loan.
Each apartment is eligible for a total of up to $15,000. For investor owned rental properties it is 100% deferred loan forgiven after five years if owner rents to income eligible tenants, performs Essential Maintenance Practices on the property, and provides yearly documentation to the Healthy and Lead-Safe Homes Program.
Homeowners are eligible to receive a total of up to $25,000. The grant-to-loan ratio for owner occupied properties is 40% grant and 60% deferred loan forgiven at ten percent per year for ten years. Depending on the cost of the project and the availability of funds, owners may be required to complete some finish work such as final painting.
Lead Paint Hazard Control Work
Lead paint hazard control work must be completed by a Vermont-certified Lead Abatement Contractor. Occupants of units undergoing lead hazard control work must be relocated during the work and cannot return until the unit passes clearance dust wipe testing (see Temporary Relocation section below). Depending on the size of the home or apartment and the extent of the lead problem, the work can take anywhere from one to three weeks to complete (see project timeline). Property owners will receive documentation that the lead paint hazards have been controlled and guidance regarding ongoing maintenance.
Blood Lead Testing of Children Under Six (6)
The Vermont Department of Health recommends that all children receive a blood lead test at 12 months and 24 months at their well child visit with their health care provider. HUD requires that all children under age 6 in families receiving assistance from this program be screened for lead. Contact the Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 1-800-439-8550 if you have questions about lead testing.
Homeowners will be expected to make their own arrangements for relocation while the lead work is completed. Federal regulations do not allow tenants in rental property to be permanently displaced because of the lead work. Generally, owners of rental property will be asked to assist VHCB in making arrangements for their tenants. In certain situations, VHCB has limited resources available to assist with reasonable relocation expenses. Occupants will be expected to pack up their belongings sufficiently to allow the contractor access to complete the work.
Ongoing Monitoring and Maintenance
Because it is usually too expensive to remove all of the lead-based paint, ongoing maintenance and monitoring by the property owner will be necessary to ensure that all of the lead-based paint hazards remain under control. The EMP law requires owners of pre-1978 rental housing and/or day care facilities, or their maintenance personnel, to attend a Vermont Department of Health-approved training, to perform Essential Maintenance Practices (EMPs), and to provide information about lead-based paint to tenants. Landlords who are enrolled in the Healthy & Lead-Safe Homes program are required to perform EMPs and file compliance statements with the VT Department of Health in order to receive forgiveness on their loans. Compliance with the law should ensure that no lead hazards reappear in the future. For more information about the law, call 1-800-439-8550.