Cleveland To Step Up Lead Paint Inspections This Year

A woman wipes down a windowsill in her home. Windows can be a source of lead paint chips or dust.
A woman wipes down a windowsill in her home. Windows can be a source of lead paint chips or dust. [ideastream file image]
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Cleveland plans nearly to double its voluntary lead paint inspections of rental properties this year, according to a presentation given to city council on Monday.

Building and Housing Director Ayonna Blue Donald told council the city plans to inspect 1,875 rental units for lead paint dust, a 90 percent increase over the 985 inspections conducted last year.

This year’s planned inspections represent about three percent of the 59,000 units in the city’s registry of rental properties. Cleveland also plans 7,500 rental inspections for other forms of code violations this year.

Donald said the city is working to certify all rental inspectors as lead risk assessors, and aims to inspect properties every five years. The examinations are voluntary for landlords.

“Keep in mind, that’s a five-year inspection cycle based on the people that have registered, and the people that are complying—meaning allowing us and giving us permission to go in,” she said. “Of course, not everyone allows us or grants us permission to go in.”

The city issued 64 violations last year, Donald said, and landlords resolved lead hazards at about half of those properties.

“The other lead hazards that have not been resolved, we’re working toward getting compliance—some people have filed appeals, et cetera—or prosecuting, if that’s the appropriate venue,” Donald said.

In 2017, when the rental inspection program launched, the city conducted 100 lead dust tests and 2,947 other inspections.

A coalition of community groups is collecting signatures to put a measure on November’s ballot requiring all city rental units be lead safe. City officials this year launched their own lead coalition with hospitals, philanthropic groups and others.

View the full building and housing presentation below. Mobile users can read here.

 

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