HUD Archives: News Releases


HUD No. 04-143
HUD: Kristine Foye (617) 994-8218
EPA: Sheryl Rosner (617) 918-1865

For Release
Monday
November 22, 2004

HUD AND EPA SETTLE CASE AGAINST MASSACHUSETTS-BASED LANDLORD - 10,000 APARTMENTS IN SEVEN STATES AND D.C. TO BECOME LEAD SAFE
Agreement covers more than 7,000 apartments in Massachusetts

WASHINGTON - In one of the largest enforcement actions of its kind, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a Boston-based real estate company has agreed to remove lead paint hazards from approximately 10,400 apartments in seven states and the District of Columbia, and to pay a monetary penalty. HUD and EPA claims the company failed to notify its tenants that their homes may contain potentially dangerous amounts of lead. The apartments that will be made lead-safe under this agreement are located in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Virginia and the District of Columbia. More than 7,000 apartments are located in Massachusetts alone (see attached list).

Winn Residential Limited Partnership and its affiliates own and manage more than 235 housing projects across the country. The Company agreed to pay a $105,000 civil penalty and to test for and clean up all existing lead-based paint hazards in its units. EPA estimates that the cost of lead abatement projects associated with this settlement are likely to be as high as $3.7 million.

"Today's settlement should remind landlords that they have a legal responsibility to tell their tenants if their homes may harm their children,” said Miniard Culpepper," HUD's Acting Regional Director for New England. "This agreement will not only create thousands of healthier homes and but will give families the peace of mind to raise their kids without fear of lead poisoning.”

In 2001, there were approximately 1,100 children in Boston alone with elevated blood lead levels. The majority of cases are in the City's lower-income, most diverse neighborhoods.

"Lead poisoning is a serious health threat for children in New England and around the country,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England office. "This agreement shows that those of us charged with protecting young children, and our most sensitive populations from lead poisoning, are serious about our jobs. We plan to continue to enforce lead disclosure laws until we reach our goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning.”

"Despite the fact that so much can be done to keep kids safe from lead paint, too many are still poisoned in their own homes,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly. "This agreement sets the standard for the property management industry and sends the message that, through collaboration, we can make significant strides to protect our children from harm.”

Since 2001, Reilly has been working closely with HUD and EPA, as well as the state Department of Public Health, to negotiate two settlements with Winn addressing environmental and civil rights issues. The first, filed by his Environmental Protection Division, mirrors the HUD-EPA settlement and requires the company to comply with the state's lead law. The second, negotiated by the Attorney General's Civil Rights Division, requires the company to put detailed policy and procedures in place to prevent discrimination against families with children under the age of six, who are most vulnerable to lead paint poisoning.

Background on Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992:

HUD and EPA claim Winn violated the disclosure requirements of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. The law requires sellers and landlords selling or renting housing built before 1978:

  • To provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home;
  • To include lead notification language in sales and rental forms;
  • To disclose any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the unit and common areas;
  • To supply available records and reports regarding lead-based paint to prospective buyers or renters, prior to signing purchase and sale contracts and lease agreements; and,
  • To offer homebuyers an opportunity to test for lead-based paint hazards in the unit.

HUD, DOJ and EPA have jointly taken enforcement actions affecting over 171,122 residential units in 36 cases across the country resulting in $573,302 in civil penalties, an additional $491,750 directed to community-based projects to reduce lead poisoning, and commitments by landlords to pay millions of dollars to address lead-based paint hazards in the affected units.

Background on Health Effects of Lead-Based Paint:

Lead exposure causes reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, impaired hearing and a host of other health problems in young children. Children are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning because their hand-to-mouth activities allows them to ingest lead dust, the most common exposure pathway into the body. Studies indicate that low-income, inner-city children suffer disproportionately from elevated blood-lead levels because they live in older, distressed housing with deteriorated paint and high levels of lead dust. Nearly 450,000 of the nation's 22 million children under the age of six have blood-lead levels high enough to impair their ability to think, concentrate and learn.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels has been cut in half since the early 1990's, although the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning in low-income, unassisted older housing remains high. In fact, one in six low-income children living in older housing is believed to be lead poisoned. HUD estimates that the number of houses with lead paint has declined from 64 million in 1990 to 38 million in 2000. Eliminating lead-based paint hazards in older low-income housing is essential if childhood lead poisoning is to be eradicated.

For more information on lead paint disclosure requirements and other issues regarding lead, visit www.epa.gov/ne/topics/pollutants/lead.html.

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View the full text of the Settlement Agreement.

Housing Units Covered under the HUD-EPA Settlement Agreement

State

City

Address

Zip Code

Number of Units

California

Indio

83-385 Gemini Street

92201

268

Pasadena

1141 N. Fair Oaks Ave.

91103

300

Connecticut

Waterbury

One Enterprise Place

06702

187

Waterbury

One Enterprise Place

06702

213

District of Columbia

Washington

4319 Third Street, SE

20032

306

Washington

4806 Alabama Avenue

20019

148

Washington

3322 14th Street, NW

20010

150

Washington

4319 Third Street, SE

20032

255

Massachusetts

Amherst

201 Village Park Road

01002

200

Boston

484 Tremont Street

02116

500

Boston

336B Tremont Street

02116

200

Brookline

77 Village Way

02445

307

Cambridge

808 Memorial Drive

02139

300

Cambridge

80 Auburn Park

02139

41

Cambridge

21 Walden Square Road

02140

240

Charlestown

10 Old Ironside Way

02129

262

Chicopee

68 Eastern Drive

01013

290

Dorchester

702 Washington Street

02124

80

Dorchester

754 Blue Hill Avenue

02124

246

Dorchester

232 Seaver Street

02121

151

Dorchester

392A Warren Street

02119

195

Dorchester

95B Washington Street

01602

175

Dorchester

173 Columbia Road

2121

151

Framingham

12-A Interfaith Terrace

1701

160

Gardner

152 Manca Drive

1440

200

Hyde Park

150 Clare Avenue

2136

98

Lowell

Boott Mills

157

Lowell

195 Hildreth Street

01850

99

Lowell

451 Blackbrook Drive

01851

151

Lynn

498 Essex Street

01902

117

Lynn

312 Union Street

01901

37

Medford

3610 Mystic Valley Pky

02155

465

Oxford

220 Orchard Hill Drive

01540

215

Roxbury

392A Warren Street

02119

6

Somerville

110 Walnut Street

02145

12

Springfield

70 Chestnut Street

01103

155

Springfield

251 Allen Park Road

01118

264

Springfield

259 Fernbank Road

01129

160

Stoughton

11 Kristen Drive

02072

112

Wareham

36 Swifts Beach Road

02571

100

Webster

52 Hartley Street

01570

54

Webster

18 Village Way

01570

134

Webster

Mail to North Village

01570

25

Westfield

134 Union Street

01085

84

Worcester

39 First Street

01602

250

Worcester

714 Main Street

01610

250

Worcester

55 Williamsberg Drive

01602

404

New Hampshire

Laconia

103 Blueberry Lane

03246

100

New York

Kingston

3 Garraghan Drive

12401

122

N. Syracuse

400 Sandra Lane

13212

154

Pennsylvania

New Brighton

805 Allegheny Street

15066

101

Philadelphia

4640 Walnut Street

19139

60

Philadelphia

5256 Larchwood Ave.

19143

85

Pittsburgh

255 E. Ohio Street

15212

136

Pittsburgh

2115 Park Hill Drive

15221

91

Rhode Island

N. Providence

20 McGuire Road

2904

100

Providence

1 Valley Street

2909

150

Woonsocket

300 Privilege Street

2895

100

Virginia

Richmond

2400 Burton Street

23223

298

 

Total Units

 

 

10,371

 

 

 
Content Archived: April 22, 2010