Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program

Community Development Director

Becky Wade
bwade@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2865

400 Main St., Room 532
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Healthy Homes Program

Healthy HomesThe Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH). The purpose of the Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program is to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned rental and owner-occupied housing. 

If your home was built prior to 1978 and a child under the age of 6 resides or spends any time at your home, that child may be exposed to lead-based paint hazards and at the risk of being lead poisoned. The Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program provides free assistance to homeowners, landlords, and tenants who want to protect themselves and their family from lead-based paint hazards.

View the Program Brochure [PDF] 

The current grant period of performance is April 1, 2019 through September 30, 2022. During this time the Program plans to provide lead-based paint remediation to 160 housing units. 


DANGERS OF LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARDS

What is a Lead Hazard?
If your home was built prior 1978, it could contain lead-based paint. The older your home, the greater the chances of having lead-based paint or high levels of lead dust. Lead-based paint that is in poor condition and peeling, crackled, chipping, chalking or applied to friction and impact surfaces (such as windows and doors) can create a Lead Hazard. Lead dust and lead contaminated soils are also considered Lead Hazards.

How do you get lead poisoning?
Lead enters your body each time you inhale leaded fumes or dust, or swallow something that contains lead. If you are exposed to small amounts of lead over time or one large dose, your body may take in more lead than it can clean out. Lead poisoning is a disease that occurs when too much lead builds up in the body. 

Mom and BabyHow does lead harm the body?
Lead can harm both children and adults. Many times there are no symptoms until the health problems are very serious. Usually people who are lead poisoned do not seem to be sick. Lead can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage in adults. When young children are exposed to lead, they are at risk for: brain and nervous system damage, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problem and hearing and speech problems. Common symptoms of lead poisoning include: no desire to eat food, damage to IQ, damage to brain and nervous system, damage to kidneys, headaches, lack of energy, constipation, and stomach cramps.

Who is at risk?
Children under the age of 6 who spend time in homes built before 1978, with chipping or peeling paint, are at greatest risk. Adults who work with lead on the job are also at high risk. This can include painters, remodelers, or workers in smelters or battery plants. People remodeling their homes may also be at risk, if the paint in the home has lead in it. Family members can also become lead poisoned while the lead-based paint is being removed from the home, if the work is not done properly. Lead was allowed in household paint until 1978. The older your home is, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint. Paints containing up to 50 percent lead were used on the inside and outside of homes through the 1950s. A pregnant or nursing woman's exposure to lead can harm her unborn baby or child.


PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

The Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program assists homeowners and landlords who can meet the following qualifications:

• The unit must be located within the City of Knoxville

• The unit must have been built prior to 1978

• Owner-Occupied units must have one of the following:
- a child under the age of 6 who resides in the unit, or
- a child under the age of 6 who spends a “significant amount of time” in the unit, or
- a pregnant woman who resides in the unit

• Rental units do not require a qualifying child occupant at the time of assistance. The landlord must agree to give priority to families with children under the age of 6 when renting for 3 years following the completion of lead abatement activities. Vacant Rental units are eligible for assistance as well. 

• Total household income must be below 80% of Area Median Income


The chart below shows 80% of the Area Median Income by household size


Household Size Income Level
1 Person $39,150
2 Person $44,750
3 Person $50,350
4 Person $55,900
5 Person $60,400
6 Person $64,850
7 Person $69,350
8 Person $73,800
Income Limits are subject to change 



HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

The Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program offers grants to help remediate lead-based paint hazards in Knoxville homes. This program is available to home owners and rental property owners who meet qualification criteria. Those who qualify may receive a grant for repairs designed to remediate lead-based paint hazards. Repairs may include replacing old wooden windows with new vinyl windows, vinyl siding and aluminum trim, covering porch floors and ceilings, and fresh paint!
   
Siding RepairsA certified Lead-Based Paint Inspector/Risk Assessor will perform a non-invasive test of the property and identify lead paint hazards. The cost of this test is covered by the grant. The resulting report will contain recommendations that will guide the work to be performed at your home. Your project will be assigned to a qualified general contractor that is certified as a State of Tennessee Lead Abatement Firm. These contractors are licensed, insured and experienced in the lead hazard control industry.

During work, specially trained and State Certified Lead Abatement Supervisors and Workers will make repairs using lead safe work practices including the setting up of containment areas that will keep lead dust from spreading throughout your home.  After work is completed they will utilize specialty cleaning methods to remove lead dust that remains. Depending on where lead hazards are found, there may be several rooms that you will not have access to during the work. If you can’t have access to a sleeping area, bathroom and cooking area you will be asked to relocate temporarily to a lead-safe unit for 5-7 days. 

At the end of work, a Clearance Test is performed by a third-party inspector. This test consists of lab-analyzed dust wipes and a visual inspection that determine whether the work areas are safe to re-occupy. Once the passing results are received, you may re-occupy areas of work. Program Staff will also monitor and inspect work to ensure safety, proper installation of items and quality of work. City of Knoxville Building Inspectors will also inspect to ensure work is completed to meet code requirements.


HOW TO APPLY

To apply for assistance, complete the online pre-screening application below, or complete a paper pre-screening application and mail it to the following address:

CAC Housing & Energy Services
P.O. Box 1650
Knoxville, TN 37950-1650


For additional information about the program, call 865-244-3080 Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM, or email leadsafe@knoxvilletn.gov.

Click here to complete and submit the Pre-Screening Application Online

Click here to download a PDF of the Pre-Screening Application [PDF]


LEAD-SAFE HOUSING REGISTRY

The Knoxville Lead-Safe Housing Registry is provided to inform the community of housing units that have been made safe from lead-based paint hazards. If ingested, lead-based paint can be hazardous, particularly to children under the age of 6. The units, listed below, have been made lead safe by the Knoxville Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Program through grant funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

IMPORTANT ADVISORY:
The units shown in the listing below were made lead safe in the year listed but cannot be assumed to have remained lead safe unless the property owner has followed an "Ongoing Lead-Based Paint Maintenance Program." Such a program includes: Annual visual assessments; written notice asking occupants to report any deteriorated paint; maintenance schedules; having the property re-evaluated; the use of "lead safe work practices" and trained maintenance workers. The prospective renter or buyer should check with the owner to determine if these requirements have been met.

View Lead-Safe Housing units in the City of Knoxville [PDF] (coming soon!)


TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

In order to build local capacity of trained and certified individuals and firms to safely and effectively address lead hazards during lead hazard control, renovation, remodeling, and maintenance activities; the Program will provide free of charge, State of Tennessee certified lead-based paint Abatement Worker and Abatement Supervisor classes. An additional stipend to assist with the payment of the state credential may be available upon successful completion of the training session (as funding is available). The dates of these training opportunities are to be determined. The EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program (Initial Training) may be offered as well, depending on interest levels.

The Program seeks to provide training, employment, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by this program to low- and very-low income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons in the Knoxville area.

For additional information about training opportunities, call 865-215-4476 Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, or email leadsafe@knoxvilletn.gov.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

U.S. HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes
U.S. EPA Information About Lead
• U.S. HUD Information About Lead-Based Paint 
State of Tennessee Lead Hazard Reduction Program
Tennessee Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
UTK Family & Consumer Sciences