Lead-Based Paint Testing of 135,000 NYCHA Apartments Begins Soon

Lead-Based Paint Testing of 135,000 NYCHA Apartments Begins Soon

This spring, NYCHA will begin lead-based paint testing of approximately 135,000 NYCHA apartments citywide.

NYCHA recently selected seven contractors to provide lead-based paint inspection services: Airtek Environmental, Arc Environmental, ATC Group, JLC Environmental, Lew Corporation, The ALC Group, and TRC Environmental. The $88 million contract starts April 1 and continues through September 30, 2020.

Contractors are expected to inspect about 5,000 to 7,000 apartments a month using portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing in all units that have not previously been tested and showed no presence of lead. Through this testing, which goes beyond current U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policies, NYCHA will finally have 100 percent confidence of where lead exists in its developments.

“We are aggressively tackling lead-based paint inspections at NYCHA so we can chart a definitive course to eradicate lead from our residents’ homes,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia. “The XRF testing and quality assurance contracts are the first step to making NYCHA lead-free.”

As part of the testing, contractors will perform the required HUD annual visual assessments for all apartments built prior to 1978 that have not been previously cleared of lead-based paint. NYCHA will address and remediate every positive lead-paint visual assessment.

Testing will begin at Harlem River and Williamsburg Houses, the sites included in the federal agreement signed on January 31, 2019. NYCHA will then prioritize developments with the highest populations of children under the age of 6, which is the age recognized in the City’s law requiring landlords to conduct regular lead-based paint visual assessments.

This testing initiative is part of LeadFreeNYC, the City’s roadmap to eradicate childhood lead exposure by preventing exposure to lead hazards and responding quickly and comprehensively if a child has an elevated blood lead level. To protect New York City kids, the City will increase resources and support for children, parents, and healthcare providers.

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