Capital Beat: Landlords warn new lead regulations could spike rents

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:47:11 AM. The vote was nearly unanimous: 23 of 26 members of the House Finance Committee approved a bill that would increase lead testing and remove regulations in New Hampshire.And it’s a cause with broad support. Senate Bill 247 would require health care...
The vote was nearly unanimous: 23 of 26 members of the House Finance Committee approved a bill that would increase lead testing and remove regulations in New Hampshire. And it’s a cause with broad support. Senate Bill 247 would require health care providers offer universal lead testing to all one- and two-year-olds, and would lower the threshold blood lead testing level in children necessary to trigger mandatory action by landlords to remove harmful sources of lead. In a state with some of the oldest housing stock – much of which contains lead paint – members of both parties say the increased regulation would help reduce hazards that could harm children’s health. But in clearing the Finance Committee on Wednesday, the bill heads to the House floor with an amendment changing how property owners might receive financial assistance for carrying out repairs. Rather than $6 million in grants made available for qualifying home owners looking to remove lead hazards, that money would come in the form of a guaranteed loan program, with up to 60 percent of the cost of repairs available to be covered by the state. Now, landlords are crying foul. “There’s no way this bill will help affordable housing in any way,” Rick Plais, a landlord in Manchester who’s been in the business 35 years, said at a hearing Tuesday. Many other property owners echoed the complaint. Of particular concern, Plais said: the removal of the grant program, which he said landlords were counting on to help mitigate the...Read more
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