EDEN eNews for Property Owners & Managers

October 2023 Issue

Local Governments Cracking Down on Lead, Code Violations

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National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Welcome to National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, an annual nationwide call to action to reduce childhood lead exposure. According to the CDC, protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to negatively affect a child’s intelligence, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. While the effects of lead poisoning may be permanent, if caught early, there are things parents can do to prevent further exposure and reduce damage to their child’s health.

In recognition of its importance, EDEN is devoting this issue to safe housing.

Cleveland is taking negligent property owners to court to combat lead poisoning

SIGNAL - Click for full story

The city filed criminal charges in Cleveland Housing Court  against 50 landlords who failed to follow  previous city orders to clean up their properties. The action against the landlords marks the first time in recent years that the city has taken such legal action. All 50 landlords have each been charged with 75 counts of failure to comply with lead-hazard control orders. Each count carries a $5,000 fine.

Why it matters: Lead poisoning has been called "public enemy number one" in Cleveland, where 90% of the housing stock was built before 1978, when the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint. The Cleveland Department of Public Health receives more than 900 cases every year of children with elevated blood levels, said CDPH director David Margolius. 200 of those cases have levels of toxicity that cause severe cognitive and behavioral issues and take years of treatment to overcome.

How it works: Inspectors with the Department of Building and Housing visit properties where poisoning has taken place and produce lengthy reports detailing remediation efforts required of property owners. "When we give you that lead-hazard control order, it's not optional," said Dave Roberts, Cleveland's chief assistant of law for code enforcement. "It's a criminal offense."

What does this mean for you?

  • Rental property owners with units built before 1978 must obtain a Lead Safe Certification.
  • The Lead Safe Certification is only valid for two years, after which rental property owners must re-apply for certification.
  • In order to receive the certification, the unit must be lead safe-- lead hazards must be remediated within the home and the unit must be inspected by an independent, certified Clearance Technician.
  • Rental property owners can hire Renovation, Repair, & Painting (RRP) Certified Contractors for lead remediation, or can obtain RRP certification to complete work on their properties themselves.
  • Units can be exempt from the lead safe certification requirements if the unit has been abated of all lead hazards and comprehensive lead risk assessment has been conducted.
  • Financial assistance is available from the city of Cleveland to help property owners obtain their certification.

Access to financial assistance

On behalf of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, CHN Housing Partners and Environmental Health Watch (EHW) offer financial support to property owners to minimize the cost of making Cleveland homes Lead Safe.

  • Up to $12,000 per unit (maximum of 12) available to both owner occupied and rental property owners
  • Up to $7,500 per loan is available to both owner occupied and rental property owners, with no cap on the number of loans you may apply to receive
  • Rental property owners receive $1,000 per 20-year lead-free exemption or $750 received for every Lead Safe Certification (12 incentives per zip code, maximum of 50)

Click here for more information abou the Lead Safe Cleveland Program.

Lorain City officials increase penalty on property maintenance codes

MORNING JOURNAL - click here for full story

At a council meeting October 16, Lorain city officials voted in favor of the amended law, which now states:

A person who or which refuses, neglects or fails to comply with an order issued under the provisions of this code or other applicable codes of the City of Lorain ... shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. ...

By increasing the penalty, officials hope to curtail the ongoing issues they are having with several property owners, including the owners of the former St. Joseph’s Community Center, who have failed to comply with orders from the city regarding multiple violations at the property site.

Matt Kusznir, the director of the Building, Housing and Planning, explained to officials that his department initially works with property owners, giving them ample time to correct the violation on their property. Though Kusznir said there are “many repeat offenders” of the property maintenance code, he also noted there are also a number of residents who rectify their property issue within weeks or months and never get cited for the violation.

The Bottom Line

Ensuring that your housing is safe and meets all building codes is good for business and good for your tenants. If you don't know where to start, this housing inspection checklist can be used to make sure that any unit you rent is going to provide safe housing.




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We want to partner with you!

EDEN has a robust program to help property owners and managers to attract and retain renters for their properties. We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or want additional information. Click here to email our Community Housing Agents or call the property owner hotline at 216-503-6369.



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Resources for Housing Providers & Managers

Welcome Packet

Brochure for Housing Providers

Housing Provider Information Web Page

Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research

Lead Safe Cleveland
(see section for financial assistance)

Tenant & Housing Provider Duties



Past Issue Topics

Introduction to EDEN's Housing Provider Partnership Program

How to Get Started with EDEN

What Housing Providers Need to Know: Understanding Fair Housing Law

Attention All Rental Property Owners:
Access Money to Get Lead Safe With!

Understanding the RFLA:
Request for Lease Approval

Introducing New Incentives for Housing Providers with Units in Lakewood

Introducing New Incentives for Housing Providers in Northeast Ohio

The Importance of the HAP Contract

Tenant & Landlord Responsibilities





EDEN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing housing solutions
to people facing housing instabilities and homelessness.