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June 10, 2009

Lead Hazard Remediation Won For Tenants in East Hollywood Building


June 10, 2009 — CES achieved a victory in securing safe, lead-free housing this month, as the City of Los Angeles Housing Department’s Lead Hazard Remediation Program (LHRP) has approved the application for a building on Grace Street in East Hollywood to receive a sizeable lead grant for lead component removal.

The Lead Hazard Remediation Program provides grants for lead hazard remediation to be performed in buildings where there is known positive levels of lead-based paint, providing up to $15,000 per unit to safely replace components with lead hazards, such windows and doors. Lead-based paint has long been known to present substantial health risks to tenants, particularly to young children. While the use of lead-based paint was made illegal in 1978, the Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust, and more than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to young children. Of these homes, children living at or below the poverty line, and of marginalized racial and ethnic groups who live in older housing are at greatest risk.

CES has organized with tenants at the Grace St. building to raise awareness of lead dangers in their homes, and help them make a demand to their landlord to participate in the LHRP program. Through this process, CES was able to identify potential tenant leaders and motivated them to participate in leadership building activities. CES Tenant Organizers Sua Iris Hernandez and Rebecca Popuch, as well as former CES Organizer Melissa Chinchilla, have ensured this victory with their effective work.  In early June the joint application of both the landlord and tenants were approved by the L.A. Housing Department, with the work to begin in July.

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