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Lead paint problems plague city's Housing Authority

The beleaguered New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) remains out of compliance with its duties to inspect and remove the lead paint from housing units, the watchdog for the federal agency reported earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the monitor issued a third report regarding the way that NYCHA was dragging its feet. In it, he claimed it had "not fulfilled various lead-paint obligations, and has acknowledged it will not complete certain required visual assessments on time." Last year, the agency was subjected to a partial federal takeover due to its failure to honor its obligations to address the lead paint situation in the housing units.

According to this latest report, NYCHA is not on target to meet its deadline of inspecting 134,000 apartment units for lead-based paint by year's end. Also in the report, it stated NYCHA found evidence of lead in 55% of the inspected apartments thus far.

The monitor noted that "[i]f the present trend holds, some 74,000 apartments ultimately will be confirmed as containing lead paint in varying concentrations."

The report appears to contradict earlier assurances from both City Hall nd NYCHA that downplayed the presence of lead-based paint in public housing apartments.

The report also concluded that most of the danger in the apartments was attributable to "the original primer on components, like radiators, door frames, pipes, and ceramic fixtures." Because primer is a base coat, that makes it less accessible to residents and mitigates the risk to a degree.

In the past, public housing officials have appealed the results of inspections for lead in apartments. These appeals forced children who had already suffered lead poisoning to remain in their tainted apartment units, according to the New York Post.

If you live in NYCHA housing and have a child who suffered the irreversible effects of lead poisoning, you should learn about your rights in the matter. Under the current premises liability laws, you may have a viable claim to seek civil redress.

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