Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

NAR Comments on Proposed Lead Regulations

NAR, in coalition with other real estate stakeholders, has submitted comments on the EPA's proposed regulations to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint dust in homes and childcare facilities built before 1978. Under the proposed rules, any amount of lead dust on floors and windowsills would require additional testing and abatement, paid for by the property owner. Compliance with the rule is triggered by a finding by a health care professional that a child in the property has elevated blood lead levels (BLL), as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control. 

Most importantly for REALTORS® and property managers, the proposed regulation would not require property owners to proactively test for lead paint dust before selling, but if such tests have been performed, this information would need to be disclosed to potential buyers under current lead paint disclosure protocols.

The comments focus on concerns that the proposed rule will have significant negative impacts on all aspects of the housing and real estate market, including affordable housing which would have direct negative health impacts. EPA’s economic analysis provides insufficient support to properly assess these negative impacts, which would be most felt by the category of people EPA seeks to protect by amending the dust-lead levels: children and people living in target housing in communities with environmental justice concerns. Health-based effects are not only the direct negative health effects that result from exposure to dust-lead, but also the negative health effects from lack of availability, stability, and affordability of housing.