State and Local Spotlight:

Alameda County Healthy Homes Department

Organization: Alameda County Healthy Homes Department
Location: Oakland, California
Contact: Larry Brooks;

The Alameda County Healthy Homes Department, a local government agency, provides innovative, multidisciplinary programs that offer consultations, case management, technical assistance, and services to prevent lead poisoning and promote health and safety in the home.

We collaborated with the California Healthy Housing Coalition and the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers to provide Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) training to the Environmental Protection Agency’s officers in an effort to encourage regulation of contractors during lead paint abatement work. Previously, it was challenging to get code enforcement officers to respond to the complaints of unsafe conditions and unsafe activities with regard to lead hazards. We began providing training as a proactive response to the hazardous conditions that remained as a result of many jurisdictions’ unresponsiveness to resident reports of contractors not following the lead-safe work practices described in the RRP rule. By educating code enforcement officers and building inspectors, we’re able to increase the number of jurisdictions now responding to complaints received, as well as getting jurisdictions to add RRP language into their building permit applications.

This program further expanded to fulfill its mission to reduce childhood lead poisonings caused by lead paint. Thanks to the partnership formed with the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers, we are now making great strides to ensure that these complaints are supported. As a result of the RRP training, we’ve witnessed an increase in local code enforcement officers responding to resident complaints. Furthermore, the training has enhanced workforce capacity and developed and structured cross-sector relationships.

This project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 99T80701 to the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department.

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