Federal Healthy Housing Bills Introduced in 2016

Bill Name and Chief SponsorsContent 

Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2016

Sens. Durbin and  Menendez 

  • Aligns HUD definition of lead poisoning with CDC definition
  • Requires EPA to update dust and soil standards for lead
  • Removes zero-bedroom lead inspection exemption
  • Requires initial lead-based paint hazard risk assessment for pre-1978 Section 8 Voucher and other federally assisted units

Drinking Water Safety and Infrastructure Act

Sens. Stabenow, Inhofe, Peters, and Portman

  • Provides $100 million for Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) for drinking water emergency
  • Provides $70 million in funding to back secured loans made under the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)
  • Establishes inter-agency advisory committee to the White House and Congress on Lead Poisoning
  • Appropriates $20 million in additional funding for HUD and CDC healthy homes and lead poisoning prevention / lead hazard control programs

Home Lead Safety Tax Credit Act of 2016

Sens. Schumer, Whitehouse, and Casey

  • Tax Credit for up to $3,000 for controlling lead paint and lead pipe hazards 

GET THE LEAD OUT Act of 2016

Sen. Cardin

  • Provides grants to reduce lead in community drinking water supplies and delivery system
  • Does not allow partial line replacement 

Copper and Lead Evaluation and Reporting Act of 2016

Sen. Cardin

  • Requires EPA to develop new regulations regarding the Lead and Copper Rule and set an action level to trigger notification, reporting, and examination of lead pipe hazards

TEST KIDS Act of 2016

Sen. Cardin

  • Requires all states to report elevated blood lead levels to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Requires CDC to investigate clusters of elevated blood lead levels.

FUND WATER Act of 2016

Sen. Cardin

  • Triples authorized funding to EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Clean Water State Revolving Funds
Water Resources Development Act of 2016

Sens. Inhofe and Boxer

  • Authorizes 25 Army Corps projects in 17 states, including improvements to ports, flood protection, ecosystem preservation, and drought protection.
  • Provides $100 million in Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and at least $70 million in secured loans under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to states to replace lead service lines
  • Provides emergency aid to Flint, Michigan, and assistance to other communities facing similar contaminations.
  • Establishes an advisory committee under the Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control, to report on the impact of lead poisoning and the effectiveness of Federal prevention and remediation programs

Previously Introduced Federal Healthy Housing Bills

The Title X Amendments Act, S. 290: On February 13th, 2013, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced two two bipartisan bills pertaining to healthy housing, the Healthy Housing Council Act and the Title X Amendments Act. These bills seek to improve federal coordination of healthy housing efforts and better integrate healthy housing activities into the ongoing lead poisoning prevention work at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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 nonprofit organizations that have the support of state or local governments.

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the H.R. 1232, House version of S. 290 on March 20. The eight original co-sponsors who joined her are Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI),  Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL). H.R. 1232 is the companion bill to S. 290.

The next step for the Title X Amendments Act of 2013 is consideration by the respective authorizing committees: the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

    Healthy Housing Council Act S. 291: Additionally on February 13, 2013, Senators Reed and Johanns re-introduced the Healthy Housing Council Act, with cosponsors Franken and Boxer. S. 291 would establish an independent interagency Council on Healthy Housing in the executive branch in order to improve coordination, bring existing efforts out of their respective silos, and reduce duplication. The bill calls for the council to convene periodic meetings with experts in the public and private sectors to discuss ways to educate individuals and families on how to recognize housing-related health hazards and secure the necessary services and preventive measures to combat these hazards.

    The goal for these bills is to address 5.7 million households living in conditions with moderate or severe health hazards, 23 million homes with lead-based paint hazards, 14,000 unintentional injury and fire deaths that result from housing-related hazards, and 21,000 radon-associated lung cancer deaths every year. These alarming numbers contribute to increasing health care costs for individuals and families, as well as for federal, state, and local governments.

    Read the full press release.


    Livable Communities Act, S. 1621: On September 26, 2011, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) led the introduction of the Livable Communities Act of 2011, marking an important step forward in transforming the Federal government into a better partner for communities as they work to achieve their goals. The bill would formally authorize the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its Regional Planning and Community Challenge grant programs. These programs support community efforts to establish and implement a locally defined vision for future growth and redevelopment through comprehensive planning and capital improvement programs. The bill would also create a loan program for infrastructure improvements (streetscape, utilities) in preparation for transit-oriented development.

    For full press release, click here.

    Healthy Housing "Vision" Bill: On October 2, 2008, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced Senate bill S. 3654 to improve the quality of housing in the United States. The bill emphasizes cost-effective approaches and market-based incentives to make homes healthier and safer without detracting from their affordability. Entitled the Research, Hazard Intervention, and National Outreach for Healthier Housing Act, the multi-faceted legislation aims to improve research, enhance the capacity of federal programs, and expand national outreach efforts.

    On October 21, 2009, Representative Robert Brady (D-PA) introduced H.R. 3891, The Safe and Healthy Housing Act of 2009.

    Key bill provisions include:

    • Funding for existing federal housing programs, such as CDBG, HOME, and LIHEAP to add healthy homes components to their programs.
    • Leveraging the private market interest in healthy homes by creating a voluntary “Healthy Homes Seal of Approval” modeled after the successful Energy Star program.
    • Authorizing $7,000,000 for each of the next five years for the National Institute of Environmental Health Science and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the health risks and human health effects of indoor exposure to chemical pollutants including carbon monoxide, chemical asthma triggers, and common household and garden pesticides.
    • Authorizing $6,000,000 for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to study methods for the assessment and control of housing-related health hazards.
    • Providing $10,000,000 for HUD and CDC to study the indoor environmental quality of existing housing and to create a system for monitoring housing related hazards.