Representatives García and Pressley Introduce Lead Abatement for Families Act to Remove Lead Pipes from Public and Subsidized Housing

July 16, 2020
Press Release
Bill directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to find lead pipes in public and subsidized housing and provide grants to remove them

Chicago, IL - Today, Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04)  and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) introduced the Lead Abatement for Families Act, a bill requiring HUD to identify and remove lead pipes in public and subsidized housing by providing grants to public housing authorities and property owners.

As many as ten million homes in the U.S. get their water from lead pipes, and residents of federally assisted housing are disproportionately impacted. Lead poisoning is especially serious for children: A 2015 study determined that by the third grade, children in Chicago with even small amounts of lead in their blood were more than 32% more likely to fail standardized tests.

“It is a national scandal that millions of homes across the country still get water from lead pipes. I’m proud to introduce the Lead Abatement for Families Act with Representative Pressley to get lead pipes out of public and federally subsidized housing, because affordable housing should never jeopardize the health of its residents,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García. “Safe drinking water is a matter of racial and economic justice and the cost of removing and replacing lead pipes falls particularly hard on Black and Brown communities like the many I represent in Chicago. It's past time for the federal government to do its job to protect children and families from lead poisoning.”

“We must center racial and economic justice in all of our policymaking, and housing is no exception,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “For far too long, our government has allowed families living in public and federally-assisted housing to be exposed to lead poisoning—resulting in disproportionately worse health, economic and educational outcomes for Black, Brown, and low-income communities. This legislation would correct these historic injustices and ensure that public housing in the Massachusetts 7th and beyond is safe, healthy and lead pipe-free. Our families do not deserve less, simply because they cannot afford more.”

The following were original cosponsors of the bill: Reps. Joyce Beatty, André Carson, Danny Davis, Rosa DeLauro, Pramila Jayapal, Hank Johnson, Marcy Kaptur, Joseph Kennedy III, Barbara Lee, Stephen Lynch, Jerry Nadler, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Donald Payne, Jr., Mark Pocan, Bobby Rush, Tim Ryan, Jan Schakowsky, Tom Suozzi, Mark Takano and Rashida Tlaib. 

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