SALUTING CITIES UNITED FOR SCIENCE PROGRESS, DOROTHY HEIGHT
AND CALLING FOR INCREASED HUD FUNDING FOR LEAD-SAFETY
WHEREAS, the US Conference of Mayors and DuPont have partnered on Cities United for Science Progress (CUSP) for six years, and
WHEREAS, CUSP programs have received outstanding support from USCM members with close to 100 cities partnering with DuPont for a Science in the School Day event or over 30 Mayors who have received some of the over $4 million in grants under the Lead-Safe for Kids' Sake, and
WHEREAS, public private partnerships such as USCM/DuPont partnership are working to make our nation's cities safer, smarter and healthier by organizing events in the cities, sharing best practices on lead-safety and funding outstanding ideas on making communities lead-safe, and
WHEREAS, from evidence gathered from Lead-Safe for Kids' Sake applications and Best Practices, the USCM has learned that poorly maintained older housing can expose children and families to a number of health risks including pests, mold, lead and a variety of safety hazards, and
WHEREAS, in many low-income and troubled neighborhoods, bad landlords unnecessarily exposed children to substandard housing conditions that could present a serious danger to their health, and
WHEREAS, property owners who choose to be in the business of providing housing to low-income residents, or for that matter any resident, are responsible for the condition of the housing, and
WHEREAS, local enforcement of housing codes and increased awareness of potentially dangerous housing conditions in these troubled communities are critical to protecting children against potential risks that arise from housing neglect.
WHEREAS, others including Dr. Dorothy Height and The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) have great public-private partnerships including, "NOT IN OUR HOUSE," an initiative to educate families about health risks in the home arising from poor maintenance and neglect and to encourage property owners and landlords to provide safer living environments.
WHEREAS, The National Organization of African Americans in Housing (NOAAH) has investigated the nature of environmental hazards in residential and supports programs to encourage better maintenance in troubled housing, and.
WHEREAS, property owners failing to provide safe housing should be subject to the strict enforcement of local and state law and public nuisance litigation should be used as a tool to target these property owners and should not become a source of funds to reward bad landlords.
WHEREAS, President Clinton's Task Force on Environmental Health Risk and Safety Risks to Children called for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lead program to be funded at a rate of $230 million per year and this year's budget is proposed at $116 million cutting out Senator Bond and Mikulski's important, landmark lead hazard demonstration program.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors supports:
Mayors and DuPont to continue working together to make cities lead-safe via the USCM Lead-Safe for Kids' Sake grant program and to work together to identify best practices for the improvement of housing code enforcement and making rental properties safer for families. Efforts that encourage landlords to properly maintain the condition of their properties through better enforcement and community awareness, and opposes efforts that would reward or benefit neglectful property owners failing to provide safe housing and also oppose litigation or legislation that would benefit landlords who fail to properly maintain their properties, and NCNW and NOAAH and/or other organizations efforts that disseminate information to landlords and families on how to identify potential health hazards and to perform proper maintenance, such as lead-safe and healthy home practices and applauds legendary civil rights leader Dr. Dorothy Height for her leadership on this critical urban issue, Funding HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and LeadHazard Control's lead-safety programs at $230 million including a restoration of funds for the successful Bond-Mikulski Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program ($50 million) so mayors can reach the federally stated goal of making all cities lead-safe by 2010.