Harlem mom has lead in her NYCHA apartment, wants action and a transfer

Monica Makes It Happen

HARLEM, Manhattan — A Harlem mother says her bathroom tested positive for lead in April. 

Ever since, she says she’s been getting the runaround from NYCHA. She wants a transfer to a lead free apartment. She called PIX11 News for help. 

Cassietta Smith lives at the Manhattanville Houses in Harlem. Smith says that in an inspection done a month ago, lead was detected in the paint in her bathroom ceiling. 

Smith has two children, an 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. Both of them are remote learning, so they are home all day.

“It’s overwhelming, my kids should have to go through this. This is not just myself but my children,” said Smith.

Last year, NYCHA’s federal monitor revealed there are 9,000 apartments with children under 6 that likely have lead paint. NYCHA says it’s inspected more than 134,000 apartments for lead out of its total of 175,000.

“A supervisor is visiting the apartment today and working with the resident to schedule abatement, which will take approximately half a day,” a NYCHA spokesperson said. “The TEMPO program, an initiate of NYCHA’s Lead Action Plan, provides residents with the option to be temporarily relocated while abatement is being completed. It is not NYCHA policy, nor is it required, to permanently relocate residents.”

There is no safe level of lead in children. Smith is getting her children tested this week. 

If you have a story reach out to Monica Morales at monica@pix11.com

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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