Bill meant to protect kids from lead poisoning languishes in Philly City Council

Pat Loeb
June 13, 2019 - 4:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia City Council Committee passed a bill last March that would provide sweeping protection from lead poisoning for children living in rental housing. But the bill's sponsor still has not let the bill come up for a final vote, and advocates are getting impatient.

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio
Kaitlyn Kuviac says she was eight months pregnant when her landlord asked to speak to her.

"He told me he would not be renewing my lease as he does not rent out to people with children under the age of five because there was potential lead poisoning in the building," she said.

Current law requires landlords to address lead paint only if children under six live there, which advocates say is causing the kind of legal housing discrimination Kuviac faced.

The bill that's been languishing in council would close that loophole and require lead-free certifications for all rental licenses for buildings more than 40 years old. 

Sponsor Blondell Reynolds Brown says the bill hasn't moved because she's trying to find "common ground" between advocates and landlords.

"We have not reached a good place yet in terms of satisfying all the stakeholders. It might take two weeks. It might take till the fall,"she said, 

Brown promises the bill will pass by the end of the year.