CLE lead paint poisonings, seaching for solution

CareSource invests $5 million to Cleveland's Lead Safe Home Fund to help make homes lead-free
Posted at 9:48 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 22:35:34-04

Cleveland's lead paint poisoning issues have city leaders, in multiple departments, scrambling to find some answers after decades of problems.

Newly appointed Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Brian Cummins told better enforcement is needed against landlords who have not taken care of lead paint exposure at their properties.

Cummins said some 400 Cleveland children are diagnosed with lead paint poisoning every year,  and more must be done to get city housing inspectors involved in the enforcement process.

Cummins said city leaders will meet with the state board of health next week to determine how state code and the city charter can be changed to allow housing inspectors to get involved.

"It's a very serious issue, it's a very pressing issue," said Cummins. "The coordination has been very poor, we need more enforcement."

Cummins said landlords who knowingly rent properties that have lead paint need to be punished. Cummins recommended keeping a rental registration of homes that have lead violations, a registration renters can look at before they sign a lease.

Cummins reports Cleveland's Health Department, Community Development, Building and Housing and the Law Departments will all be meeting in the coming days in the search for better enforcement and resident education.

Cummins said landlords who don't comply must face the consequences.

"We have to cite them, get them inspected, get them into court," said Cummins.  "The clearest thing is to get a no rent order for a landlord who doesn't comply."