From the Forum – Free lead-paint abatement from the city?

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Free lead-paint abatement from the city?

“I just had the exterior of my house painted, and in passing, the painter mentioned that he’d heard of a program through the DC government that allows homeowners to have their lead-painted interiors (and trim too? God, I hope so!) stripped and painted for free. Have any of you heard of this program? Has anyone used it? What is the process, and how does it work?

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3 Comment

  • I sure hope not! I rent and I would hate to imagine my tax dollars are going to updating someone’s private home investment. Public buildings? Yes. A private home? Pay for it yourself!

    • Governments of all stripes provide programs to offer discounted services that benefit the public good (its part of the reason for their existence!). In the D.C. area, whether it’s rain barrels to reduce runoff, grants to install solar panels, incentives for hybrid vehicle owners, or financial help in reducing the public health hazard of lead poisoning (including lead service pipes), I don’t see anything wrong with it. Lead paint abatement is expensive, and the only reason it NEEDS to be done is to remove a known hazard. A side benefit is that owners MAY get to expose that nice woodwork 🙂

  • I doubt it. Stripping and repainting a house would be expensive, whereas the main culprits of lead paint exposure (other than renovations or obviously peeling paint) are windows, because the friction of opening and closing them generates dust (if you have a house inspected for lead paint hazards one of the first things they will test is the dust on the windowsills).
    The DC city govt webpage on lead ( has a bullet point that says “free replacement of windows and doors for residents who qualify.” And this program under DCHD doesn’t specify what they are willing to fund, but it has requirements regarding income and the presence of children under the age of 6 in the unit:
    I would recommend contacting DOEE or DCHD for more information. And also using google.

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