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May 13, 2010

Monroe County and City of Rochester
Implement Successful Lead Control Programs

Monroe County and the City of Rochester have implemented numerous lead hazard programs, allocated a combined total of $45.7 million and identified lead hazard control as a top priority, according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“The county and city have made lead control a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “Their partnership and the programs they’ve implemented have resulted in safer housing and had a significant impact on the health of young children. These successful programs should serve as a model for other communities.”

The city oversees six grant programs totaling more than $30 million designated for lead hazard control. The county oversees $15 million in additional lead control programs. Between 2003 and 2009, Rochester produced more than 760 units of lead-safe housing through its grant programs. In addition, between 2006 and 2009, the county produced more than 420 units of lead-safe housing, for a total production of almost 1,200 units of lead-safe housing which housed more than 600 children under the age of six.

As a result of the collaborative efforts of the city, county and various stakeholders, the number of lead poisoned children under the age of six within city limits decreased by an average of 58 percent – more than 340 children – between 2004 and 2009.

To further improve their lead control initiative, the city and county should:

  • Provide inspectors with additional training on identifying lead hazards and deteriorated conditions;
  • Ensure staff is following to the NYS Property Maintenance Code;
  • Compare city inspection data and city and county grant data to determine if inspections are identifying and citing all lead hazards; and
  • Amend the Move-in/Move-out Proactive Property Management Procedure manual to assure that exterior deterioration is included in the Quality Housing Inspection program and is remediated prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

Municipal officials generally agreed with DiNapoli’s recommendations, and have taken steps to implement them.

Click here for a copy of the report.


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