New Study Released on the lead contamination issue in Cleveland

By HOM Editor

In February 2019, the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® (ACAR) joined the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, advocating for property owners and common-sense legislation to address the lead contamination issue in the City of Cleveland.

Throughout coalition planning meetings, in a Cleveland City Council committee hearing, and in conversations with members of Council, ACAR insisted that an analysis examining the feasibility and costs associated with the proposed plan and now ordinance was necessary before the ordinance became law.

In June 2019, following the introduction of Ordinance 747-2019, ACAR commissioned the Anderson Economic Group (Chicago, IL) to conduct an economic impact analysis of the ordinance. The study (in PDF) estimates the potential cost to owners and tenants, as well as additional financial expenditures that may be incurred as the ordinance is implemented.

The study revealed alarming data that city officials and others involved must consider before moving forward. An overview of the study shows the following:

  • $128.5 million – Total estimated cost of bringing all Cleveland rental units into compliance (includes registration fees, mandatory lead inspections, and abatement/remediation costs).
  • 3,400 homes – Estimated number of homes taken off the market due to costs exceeding revenue-generating ability of the property. Most of these properties rent for $750 or less.
  • $100 / month – Average monthly rent increase anticipated to help owners off-set costs associated with the measure. In some cases, the total abatement cost will be passed on to the tenant. This amount could range anywhere from $40 – $423 / month.
  • 64 – The number additional licensed lead inspectors needed in the Cleveland area to meet demands of the short timeline.
  • 213 – The number of licensed lead workers in the Cleveland area. Due to varying project costs and the time required to mitigate lead contamination, it is unknown if there are enough qualified workers to meet abatement demands.

ACAR urges City Council and Coalition leaders to carefully review this independent study as they develop the Lead Safe Home Fund.

Resolving the lead contamination issue in Cleveland is vitally important. City leaders and all those involved must take appropriate measures moving forward in order to avoid an affordable housing crisis, increase in vacant properties, and/or a potential housing shortage.

ACAR remains committed to ensuring that the greater Cleveland and Akron areas are a #HomeForAll, and we look forward to working with Council and others as this policy is implemented.

See “ACAR States: Independent Study Shows Lead Ordinance Costs Exceed $120 Million,” from The Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS®. You can also read a one-page summary of the report (in PDF).

Originally published by The Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS®.


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