Important Changes to Get the Lead Out Program Will Improve Children's Health
MassHousing has announced significant enhancements to the Get the Lead Out Program (GTLO). GTLO provides low-cost financing to owners of 1-4 family properties to remove lead paint from their homes and reduce the possibilities of lead poisoning in children. These enhancements will make it easier for all families throughout the Commonwealth to gain access to GTLO funds. Removing certain obstacles will also allow additional Lenders and Local Rehab Agencies to participate in the program. CLICK HERE for MassHousing memo (PDF)
Owner-occupant families with children residing in the property under the age of six, or under court order to delead their homes, will continue to be able to access 0% “deferred loans”, with repayment not due until the home is sold, transferred or refinanced. One big change is that all income-eligible owner occupants will now also be able to access 0% deferred loans, instead of loans at 2% requiring regular repayment. This preventative approach will result in the deleading of units that will be the future homes of families with children. There are other helpful changes, that will lower upfront payments required of borrowers and broaden the lenders and local agencies participating in the program.
MACDC and its Members, along with our allies at CHAPA, MAHA, and the MA Public Health Association played a crucial role in advocating for changes. We appreciate that MassHousing, the MA Department of Housing and Community Development, and the MA Department of Public Health were open and receptive to our recommendations. Because of this, a good program is now even better, which will result in more homes becoming lead free and fewer children becoming lead poisoned. Despite substantial gains made over 45 years of public health intervention, lead exposure remains a significant health risk for children in Massachusetts. Recent evidence suggests that for children there is no safe level of exposure to lead and that exposure to relatively low levels can result in irreversible health effects. Fewer homes with lead means fewer sick children, plain and simple.
The enhancements to the Get the Lead Out Program will be effective for all loans reserved by MassHousing on or after October 25, 2016. The next step will be for MassHousing to hold 5 Regional informational sessions across the state. The locations will be North Shore, South Shore, Boston, Central/Worcester and Western MA. MACDC will work with MassHousing to plan and put the word out about these upcoming sessions.
Should you have any questions, please contact Deanna Ramsden at MassHousing at 617-854-1822 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.