Sending Office: Honorable Sean Patrick Maloney
Removing Environmental Hazards and Building Safely
Endorsing Organizations: Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County, Community Frameworks, Housing Assistance Council, Tierra Del Sol, New York
Housing Conference, National Housing Trust, LeadingAge, RUPCO
Cosponsors: Sean Patrick Maloney, Thomas Suozzi, Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur, Raúl M. Grijalva, John Katko, Denny Heck.
In cities across New York, local Habitat for Humanity chapters are just as likely to renovate existing homes as they are to build new homes for low income buyers. Renovating existing homes encourages sustainability in the housing market and contributes to
economic development in our communities. Many of these existing homes require expensive lead, asbestos, and/or mold abatement before renovations can take place.
The Removing Environmental Hazards and Building Safely or REHABS Act would fund abatement, encouraging housing providers like Habitat for Humanity to continue renovating homes.
In the City of Newburgh, New York, the local Habitat for Humanity spent nearly $200,000 in lead and asbestos abatement on seven homes in 2018 alone. While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
have funding available through the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control (LHC), the Lead Hazard Reduction (LHRD), Brownfield, and Superfund programs to help with these costs, the restrictions of each program, as well as the amount of available funds, limits the
impact they can have on groups like Habitat for Humanity.
The REHABS Act would create a grant program at HUD to assist groups like Habitat for Humanity International, Community Frameworks, the Housing Assistance Council, and Tierra del Sol Housing Corporation in environmental abatement activities. Each of these
organizations have a ‘sweat equity’ element that requires the home owner to assist in the renovations of the home that qualifies them for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) program (also administered by HUD).
The REHABS Act would provide much needed assistance to organizations working to increase homeownership among low income families and ensure that volunteer-based homeownership programs are able to make a lasting impact on their communities.
This legislation would also require HUD to conduct a study of best-practices for mold abatement methodologies for home renovation.
Please reach out to Beverly.Hart@mail.house.gov to sign on by EOD Wednesday 6/12.
Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
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