Local Policy Toolbox
There are numerous ways local policies can be used as a lever to motivate and implement positive change, and every community’s needs, ground-level realities, and potential solutions will be unique. However, as a starting point, it’s often useful to compare a range of available actions. Building an awareness of what other communities are implementing, both successfully and unsuccessfully, can help you better design and advocate for policies to advance your goals.
Below is a collection of informal resources developed by the Lead Legal Strategies Partnership (NCHH, ChangeLab Solutions, and Earthjustice) in reaction to direct requests for technical assistance on local policy opportunities. We hope the opportunities presented and real-world examples shared are helpful in your quest to improve your area’s local policies. These tangible and direct glimpses into how other localities have structured policies and processes, often combined with a brief overview about some considerations to keep in mind, can be a first step into thinking through possibilities to develop and promote your own local policy improvements. Think of these resources as a do-it-yourself kit that will help you channel existing expertise and guidance as you consider and analyze your unique opportunities.
Short descriptions of the available tools are provided below and are linked to the complete materials:
- Opportunities to Strengthen Local Lead-Related Policies: RRP Certification
This technical assistance tool from the Lead Legal Strategies Partnership (LLSP) introduces local opportunities to increase both overall awareness of the RRP Rule and actual utilization of lead-safe work practices by better integrating RRP awareness and requirements into local building permitting processes. [pdf; LLSP, 2020]
- Opportunities to Strengthen Local Lead-Related Policies: Compare Your Codes
This technical assistance tool from the Lead Legal Strategies Partnership (LLSP) introduces stakeholders to the Code Comparison Tool as a way to self-assess their local housing codes, receive customized recommendations on how to improve and strengthen housing codes to better protect the health and safety of community members, and begin to think through what comes next. [pdf; LLSP, 2020]
- Opportunities to Strengthen Local Lead-Related Policies: Model Ordinance Language to Address Lead Risks in Existing Demolition Requirements
This technical assistance tool from the Lead Legal Strategies Partnership (LLSP) introduces model ordinance language that can be used by communities wanting to develop an ordinance to protect workers and families from unnecessary lead exposure from demolitions by adding to existing demolition requirements. [pdf; LLSP, 2021]
- Opportunities to Strengthen Local Lead-Related Policies: Rent Escrow NEW
This technical assistance tool from the Lead Legal Strategies Partnership (LLSP) invites local opportunities to utilize rent escrow as part of a rent withholding mechanism to enforce the implied warranty of habitability, which requires landlords to keep their property “habitable.” [pdf; LLSP, 2022]
- Proactive Rental Inspections
This curated collection of resources and tools will support local stakeholders at any stage of exploring, implementing, and/or strengthening a proactive rental inspection approach. Highlighted resources share foundational information on the why and what of PRI, barriers and challenges to PRI implementation, examples of PRI in action, and more. [url; NCHH]
- Includes How to Make Proactive Rental Inspections Effective, a new informal tool helping stakeholders think about the eight components beyond PRI and enforcement that go into creating an effective proactive rental inspection program. [pdf; NCHH, 2020]
The resources in this toolbox and the projects they reference have been supported with funding from one or more of the following funders:
- The Kresge Foundation
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- The New York Community Trust
- American Public Health Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
The contents of these materials are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of any funding partner. No official endorsement should be inferred.
Latest page update: August 20, 2022.