Rules and Regulations Governing the State Lead Hazard Reduction Program
The Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission (the “Commission”), hereby promulgates Rules and Regulations (the “Regulations”) applicable to the Lead Hazard Reduction Program (“LHRP”). The primary purpose of the LHRP is to eliminate lead hazards in properties throughout the State. These Regulations set forth the method by which LHRP funds will be allocated.
The Commission serves as the lead state agency for housing programs and services, planning, education, technical assistance, and coordination of state projects and state financial assistance in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 42-128, the Rhode Island Housing Resources Act of 1998. The Commission shall implement and put into full force and effect rules and regulations under the powers, duties, and responsibilities assigned to it by the Rhode Island Housing Resources Act. This regulation is promulgated pursuant to the authority granted in R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 42-35 et seq., Administrative Procedures Act.
The terms and provisions of these Regulations shall be liberally construed to permit the Commission to effectuate the purposes of state law, goals, and policies.
1. “AMI” means the area median income of the area, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, adjusted for family size.
2. “Childhood lead poisoning” means a confirmed blood lead level equal to or greater than five (5) micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood (ug/dl) or as currently defined by the Lead Regulations.
3. “Commission” means the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission, a public corporation organized and existing under the Act.
5. “Department of Health” means the Rhode Island Department of Health.
6. “EBL” or “elevated blood lead level” means a single blood lead test (capillary or venous) at or above 5 ug/dl, or as currently defined in the 216-RICR-50-15-3, Lead Poisoning Prevention as published by the Department of Health.
7. “Lead regulations” means Lead Poisoning Prevention, 216-RICR-50-15-3, as published by the Department of Health and amended from time to time.
8. “Notice of violation” means a legal notice issued to the property owner by the Department of Health in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-24.6 of the Lead Poisoning and Prevention Act and/or a legal notice issued by the municipality in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-17 of the Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code.
9. "State" means the State of Rhode Island.
10. "Super clean" means the cleaning of all surfaces in a unit, the access to the unit and obvious exterior hazards as a preventative measure. This cleaning reduces lead dust levels and addresses minor lead hazards for children returning from hospitalization or units recommended by the Department of Health.
11. All capitalized terms used herein shall have the same meanings as set forth in the Administrative Procedures Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-1 et seq. (the “Act”).
B. Allocation of Funds
1. Eligible Owners
a. Eligibility for LHRP funds is primarily for private owners of owner occupied and/or rental housing units. Preference is given to units solely owned by an individual(s) or a nonprofit organization. Properties placed in receivership pursuant to court order due to lead hazards and foreclosed properties held by the Corporation are eligible for funding. Eligibility may also be considered for Community Development Corporations, Limited Liability Companies and State-owned properties (such as group homes).
2. Low Income Targeting
a. Owners must fall within certain income guidelines or serve tenants who fall within certain guidelines in order to be eligible for LHRP funds. Owner-occupants or tenants of investor owned properties must have incomes that do not to exceed 120% of AMI.
3. Funding Terms
a. Eligible owners will be provided deferred forgivable loans, payable at the time of sale or transfer of the property. The terms offered shall be as follows:
Term of Loan
Owner-occupants with income not exceeding 120% of AMI:
Owner-occupants with tenant incomes not exceeding 120% of AMI:
Investor-owners with tenant incomes not exceeding 120% of AMI:
a. Applications will be prioritized according to the following order:
(1) Applicants owning units currently housing a child with childhood lead poisoning and/or who have received a Notice of Violation from the Department of Health and/or from the municipality.
(2) Applicants owning units currently housing a child with an EBL as defined by the Department of Health.
(3) Properties placed in receivership pursuant to court order due to lead hazards.
(4) Applicants owning units being used for home-based daycare or foster/adoptive care or kinship care.
(5) Applicants owning units rented to families with Section 8 certificates or vouchers.
(6) Non-profit rehabilitation projects that will provide housing to qualified tenants and owners.
(7) Applicants who are private owners of rental housing that reside in the property.
(9) Applicants owning single family housing with child(ren) and/or with a tenant who is pregnant.
a. A yearly set aside of $200,000 will be earmarked specifically for homes for foster families and adoptive families. The LHRP will rely on the Department of Children, Youth and Families to identify the homes needing lead hazard reduction assistance. Initial inspections will be paid from these funds. At the discretion of the Commission, income and ownership requirements may be waived for these units but a zero percent deferred loan will be placed on the property for the inspections and lead hazard reduction costs.
C. Eligible Activities
1. Eligible Activities
a. Lead hazard control and reduction activities sufficient for making the property lead-safe. Such activities include, but, are not limited to, window replacement, door repair/replacement, painting, repair/replacement of components and soil remediation. Inspection services, relocation assistance and fees associated with processing applications are considered eligible activities.
b. Code Violations. In residential units, funds up to a maximum of $3,000 per unit may be used to address code violations. The LHRP may exceed the maximum per-unit limit in special circumstances where health and safety needs require additional resources.
D. Application Process
1. Threshold Requirements.
a. Threshold requirements established for the receipt of LHRP funds are as follows:
(1) All proposed activities for which funding with LHRP funds is requested must be eligible in accordance with § 4.4(C) of this Part.
2. Submission of Applications for Funding.
a. The Commission will announce its annual allocation of funds for the LHRP. The Corporation will begin accepting applications on a rolling basis. Applications will be processed in order of receipt using the priorities outlined in § 4.4(B)(4) of this Part.
3. Processing of Applications.
a. Applications will be reviewed by Corporation staff to determine eligibility and identify priority applicants. The Corporation staff shall award funds.
a. Applicants who are denied funding may appeal the decision to the Corporation’s Executive Director or his/her designee.
E. Contents of the Application
1. Application Requirements.
a. Applicants will be required to provide general property information, tax returns, lease and tenant information and other information necessary to determine eligibility. In addition, applicants will be required to agree to rent restrictions for a period of five (5) or ten (10) years following lead hazard reduction work. Credit worthiness and debt to income ratio will not be a determining factor in processing applications.
F. Program Administration
1. Inspection Process.
a. Following approval of the application and authorization by the owner, the Corporation will order a comprehensive lead inspection of the property by a licensed environmental lead inspector.
2. Scope of Work.
a. Corporation staff will work with property owners to develop an appropriate scope of work that addresses all identified lead hazards and health and safety hazards. An estimation of the cost of the work will be completed.
a. Using the approved scope of work, Corporation staff will invite all Lead Hazard Reduction and Lead Safe Remodeler/Renovator Contractors approved to participate in the LHRP to attend a walk-through of the property. Bids will be received by the Corporation, qualified according to the cost estimates and forwarded to the property owner for contractor selection. The property owner and the selected contractor will be required to attend a closing at which time loan closing documents and a rehabilitation contract will be executed.
a. Units will be vacated while the work is conducted and will remain vacant until successful clearance. Tenants in enrolled properties and foster care providers will be eligible for relocation assistance. Owner-occupants will be responsible for their own relocation needs.
a. Following the completion of lead hazard reduction work, the contractor will be required to present a Lead-Safe Certificate to the Corporation and the property owner for each enrolled unit, common areas (if applicable) and the exterior.
a. To ensure compliance with these Regulations and the Lead Regulations, the Commission may conduct site visits and inspections and may require reports and information to document compliance with LHRP requirements.
b. Corporation staff may conduct site visits from application through clearance.
2. Additional Requirements; Waiver of Requirements.
a. The Commission reserves the right to waive any of the foregoing application requirements and to supplement any of the foregoing guidelines and requirements from time to time by program bulletin.
|Title||860||Housing Resources Commission|
|Part||4||Rules and Regulations Governing the State Lead Hazard Reduction Program|
|Type of Filing||Amendment|
Regulation Authority :
Purpose and Reason :
Amendments to the program's funding priorities and qualified activities.