Judge orders NYCHA to do emergency lead inspections, housing agency waives right to hearing

Moms living in new York City Housing Authority homes, furious after discovering lead in their children's blood, won a legal victory after a judge ordered to city to redo lead inspections.

There are hundreds of children in public housing living with toxic lead in their apartments, Jim Walden, the lawyer representing the Citywide Council of Presidents, which represents tenants, said. Officials with the city told some their homes were lead free, but then state inspection teams found lead in the apartments. Moms are calling it a lead crisis in the city.

“Do it now,” Judge Carol Edmead said about new inspections.

Families throughout the city have already been impacted by lead.

Devon Hunt, a mom with three small children, was told her her apartment at the Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn was lead free. Recently, state inspection teams she says found lead. Red Hook Houses resident Sherron Paige says her 4-year-old son Kyan had a blood lead level of 12. According to the CDC, there is no safe blood lead level and anything above level 5 is considered blood poisoning. These are just some of the moms, part of what some are calling a lead crisis in our City.

Tiesha Jones’s daughter Dakota had high levels of lead in the Bronx. She won $57 million after she sued NYCHA.

“It’s a credibility issue whether we should leave this to NYCHA,” Edmead said.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said he agrees with the judge.

“The issue here is it is a matter of life or death,” Stringer said.

A NYCHA spokesperson says, “The plaintiffs are spreading misinformation. The only thing NYCHA has agreed to is that further hearings were unnecessary, given our work to comply with Local Law 1 and our work with the Southern District to meet HUD rules. Our administration didn’t create these problems—but we are the ones who are fixing them.”

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