Realtor challenges Philadelphia’s new lead rules as double standard

A Philadelphia Realtor is challenging a law demanding frequent testing of apartments for lead paint.  The city councilwoman who authored the law says it will work when it takes effect late this year.  

Realtor Chris Artur says new lead paint rules are unfair to private homeowners because they exclude properties owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority and “Section 8” properties.

“My question here is what is the justification for excluding all these properties from the law and the unequal protection for children, since the goal here is to protect children, why are they excluded from the law,” asked Artur.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, who authored the law, says it’s the product of two years of negotiations.   She says it excludes federal properties since they face tougher tests.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“Because we knew that federal legislation would supersede what we were doing on the local level, we decided to make it clear that PHA properties would be exempt,” said Reynolds Brown.

Artur says the federal test isn’t necessarily better than Philadelphia’s test, which takes a wipe sample of dust from an apartment and tests for lead.

“The Section 8 properties or the PHA properties are inspected only by an in-house inspector with their housing quality standards test. If there is no chipping paint, it’s allowed to be leased to the tenant,” insists Artur.

The changes are set to go into effect in December, requiring a test every two years for apartments where children younger than 6 would be living.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal