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U.S. ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH CINCINNATI LANDLORD – 224 HOUSING UNITS TO BECOME LEAD SAFE
Release Date: 10/23/2014
Contact Information: Shantae Goodloe, HUD, (202) 708-0685
U.S. ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH CINCINNATI LANDLORD –
224 HOUSING UNITS TO BECOME LEAD SAFE
Agreement signals continued federal and local focus on protecting children
CINCINNATI – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement against a Cincinnati landlord for failing to inform tenants that their homes may contain potentially dangerous lead. The agreement requires Meyer Management, Inc. to replace windows and clean up lead-based paint hazards in 136 residential properties containing a total of 224 units (see attached list). In addition to the $350,000 worth of lead abatement work being performed, the company also agrees to pay civil penalties totaling $7,500.
According to the Federal Government, Meyer Management, Inc. violated the Federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (Residential Lead Act) by failing to inform tenants that their homes may contain potentially dangerous levels of lead. Cincinnati health department officials identified at least 5 children with elevated blood lead levels in the properties. Lead inspections and risk assessments had been performed in additional units, such that Meyer Management, Inc. had specific knowledge of lead in as many as 21 of the units in its properties. Going forward, Meyer Management, Inc. will ensure that information about lead-based paint will be provided to tenants before they are obligated under their lease.
As a result of the settlement, Meyer Management, Inc. will perform lead-based paint hazard reduction work, including window replacement and abatement of all friction and impact surfaces, and clearance exams within a period of six years to make those units lead safe for families. In addition, Meyer Management, Inc. will pay a $7,500 civil money penalty.
"Children should be protected from lead's destructive and permanent effects," said Matt Ammon, Director of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. "We hope this settlement serves as a reminder to housing providers to do the right thing and let families who rent know about lead in their homes so they can protect their children from its hazards."
"Through these enforcement actions, EPA is sending a clear message to landlords and property managers that protecting children from exposure to lead-based paint is one of our highest priorities," EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said.
"This case illustrates the continued commitment by health officials and federal agencies to protect families' rights to a safe living environment," said U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart. "I commend the cooperative investigation."
The settlement announced today represents the third joint Residential Lead Act enforcement action in Cincinnati and was the result of intensive coordination among local health officials and federal investigators. HUD, EPA and the Department of Justice are continuing similar enforcement efforts around the nation, and so far have taken enforcement actions in which landlords have agreed to conduct lead-based paint hazard reduction in more than 186,745 apartments and pay $1,466,399 in civil penalties. In addition, a total of $703,750 has been provided by Defendants to community-based projects to reduce lead poisoning. In settling these cases, landlords have committed to expend more than an estimated $31 million to address lead-based paint hazards in the affected units.
The Residential Lead Act is one of the primary federal enforcement tools to prevent lead poisoning in young children. The Lead Disclosure Rule requires home sellers and landlords of housing built before 1978 to disclose to purchasers and tenants knowledge of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards using a disclosure form, signed by both parties, attached to the sales contract or lease containing the required lead warning statement, provide any available records or reports, and provide an EPA-approved “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home” pamphlet. Sellers must also provide purchasers with an opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection and/or risk assessment at the purchaser’s expense. Acceptable lead disclosure forms can be found at www.hud.gov and www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadbase.htm.
Health Effects of Lead-Based Paint
Lead exposure causes reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poorer hearing, and a host of other health problems in young children. Many of these effects are thought to be irreversible. In later years, lead-poisoned children are much more likely to drop out of school, become juvenile delinquents and engage in criminal and other anti-social behavior. As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that even at low levels, lead exposure in children can significantly impact IQ and even delay puberty in young girls.
At higher levels, lead can damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated."
Eliminating lead-based paint hazards in older low-income housing is essential if childhood lead poisoning is to be eradicated. According to CDC estimates, the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels has been cut in half since the early 1990's, although as many as 1 million children are still affected by lead poisoning today. HUD estimates that the number of houses with lead paint has declined from 64 million in 1990 to 38 million in 2000. About 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and
http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at
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Meyer Management, Inc. Subject Properties
|77.||2050 Queen City||1||1921|
|88.||4015 St. Lawrence||1||1915|
|114.||3419 W. Eighth||2||1905|
|115.||3509 W. Eighth||1||1885|
|116.||3600 W. Eighth||2||1900|
|117.||3606 W. Eighth||2||1916|
|118.||3612 W. Eighth||1||1914|
|119.||3903 W. Liberty||1||1880|
|133.||1812 Queen City||2||1890|
|136.||5136 Valley Ridge||1|
- TOTAL UNITS - 224