Senators Reed and Johanns Introduce Two Bills to Improve the Nation’s Healthy Housing Efforts


On February 13th, 2013, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) introduced two bills pertaining to healthy housing, the Title X Amendments Act and the Healthy Housing Council Act. The bipartisan bills seek to better integrate healthy housing activities into the ongoing lead poisoning prevention work at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and improve federal coordination of healthy housing efforts. The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) praises Senator Reed’s and Senator Johanns’ initiative and commitment to presenting the bills to their esteemed colleagues and peers for bipartisan Congressional support.

“The introduction of the two bills reflects a much needed commitment to the creation of healthy, sustainable homes. NCHH will continue to seek support for such impactful and efficiency-minded legislation,” said Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing. “We commend Senators Reed and Johanns for continuing to take a strong role in bringing the nation’s focus to the importance of improving housing conditions throughout our neighborhoods.”

The Title X Amendments Act, S. 290, which is co-sponsored by Senators Al Franken (D-MN), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), would permit HUD to continue to carry out healthy housing activities while protecting important ongoing lead remediation efforts, and streamline families’ eligibility for assistance. The amendments are necessary reforms designed to improve and expedite the delivery of cost-effective services, while aligning legislative authority with current needs and practices.

Technical amendments to Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act will accomplish major policy goals including:

  • Expand the existing Title X statute to enable other health and safety threats to be treated through the lead hazard control grant program at HUD.
  • Permit a healthy homes and lead hazard control grantee to use another program’s income and eligibility information to qualify for HUD lead and healthy homes funds.
  • Add a provision to include zero-bedroom units in HUD’s lead hazard control program.
  • Allow tribal governments to apply for funding, as well as non-profit organizations that have the support of state or local governments.

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