HUD Archives: News Releases


HUD No. 05-178
Brian Sullivan
(202) 708-0685
For Release
Thursday
December 29, 2005

HUD SETTLES CASE AGAINST CONNECTICUT LANDLORDS FOR FAILING TO DISCLOSE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS LEAD TO TENANTS
Agreement calls for inspection and cleanup of nearly 200 apartments in New Haven

WASHINGTON - The Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a legal settlement with a group of Connecticut landlords who failed to properly inform tenants their homes may contain potentially dangerous levels of lead. As part of the settlement with HUD, Klee properties, owned by Menachem Gurevitch, and five other affiliated property companies agreed to disclose any known lead-based paint hazards to their tenants and to test for and clean up any hazards, including the replacement of windows, in nearly 200 apartments in the New Haven area (see attached list of property addresses).

In addition, Klee and its affiliates will pay $3,000 to the U.S. Treasury and contribute $15,000 to the Pediatrics Department at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. This contribution will be used to treat lead-poisoned children, to educate the public on the dangers of lead exposure and to help relocate lower income families into lead-safe housing. For more information about the Yale-New Haven Lead Program and Regional Treatment Center, visit their website.

"Every landlord has an obligation to inform their tenants if there's a potential risk of lead poisoning just as every family deserves a safe and healthy home in which to raise their children," said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. "Today's settlement should remind all landlords and home sellers that the law is clear when it comes to disclosing possible health hazards due to lead-based paint."

HUD's investigation found the following property companies failed to properly disclose lead hazards to their tenants: Klee II, LLC; T&G Investments, LLC; T&G Apartments, LLC; Chapel Apartments, LLC; Derby Apartments, LLC; and, Megur, LLC.

HUD began its investigation in the fall of 2002 after receiving complaints of violations of the Lead Disclosure Rule. HUD reviewed leases from nine residential buildings in the New Haven area containing 195 units. The Department's investigation uncovered violations of the Lead Disclosure Rule in over 125 lease transactions, including a multi-unit building where four children were lead-poisoned and the tenants in the building were not properly warned of the lead-based paint hazards.

Background

The allegations in this case involve the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 and the Lead Disclosure Rule. The law and its regulations require sellers and landlords of housing built before 1978 to provide each purchaser or tenant with a lead information pamphlet, any available information and/or reports concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the property, and a Lead Warning Statement to be signed by the parties. Sellers are also required to provide purchasers with an opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection and/or risk assessment at the purchaser's expense.

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. In a recent issue of 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, more than 310,000 of the nation's 20 million children under the age of six have blood lead levels high enough to impair their ability to think, concentrate and learn.

CDC estimates that the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels has been cut by two-thirds since the early 1990's, although the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning in low-income, older housing without Federal assistance remains high. In fact, one in six low-income children living in older unassisted 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.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.

The following property addresses are covered under HUD's settlement:

Property Address Number of Units

66-68 Norton Street

38

323 Winthrop Avenue

9

285 Edgewood Avenue

15

701-703 Howard Avenue

22

1523 Chapel Street

36

36 Derby Avenue

18

34-36 Hotchkiss Street

19

56 Norton Street

18

507-511 Norton Parkway

20

Total Units

195

 
Content Archived: May 04, 2010