RRP Updates: Home Insurance, LSHR, HR 5177, & the Brochures

Well this has been a busy week on many fronts. For most of this week, I have been attending RESNET Training here in Atlanta. Needless to say, the EPA and the fallout from the RRP has not started to dissipate yet. In this article, I have three quick updates, followed by a guest post today from Dean Lovvorn explaining why many legal “EPA certified” contractors may be working illegally.

Homeowner’s Insurance Policies

Now in all honesty, who didn’t see this one coming? It appears that some poor Homeowners in the lovely State of Connecticut are running into an interesting problem. Apparently, if you would like to renew your homeowner’s insurance policy, you might be required to provide a Lead Remediation Certificate or Certificate of a Lead Free Home. Take my word for it; this will probably be coming to an insurance carrier near you, unless the State’s take a stand. In most cases, I expect to see most policy prices taking a jump in prices unless you can prove that your pre78 house is lead free. As explained by Xylem Building & Renovation of Chaplin, CT

New Renovate Right Brochure

The EPA seems to like the color pink, based on their top-notch advertising, and the new brochures they just released. I guess I can order some, when my supply of old ones has been extinguished. As a reminder, if you live in a pre78 house, or work on them a brochure needs to be left with the Homeowner, any tenants, etc… as described in this article on EPA Lead notice requirements for houses built before 1978.

H.R. 5177 – a bill to delay implementation

Ok, here is the link to it on the OpenCongress website. Quite personally, this is simply a Congressman’s “see I am looking out for you and care for you” bill that will do nothing. If and when this is passed, it might possibly delay the mess by maybe a few months in most states. Then it would also exacerbate the situation for all those that got trained and certified as required already. Sorry Congressman, you are about 30 days late and quite a few votes short.

The LSHR – you might be working illegally and never know it

I met Dean Lovvorn approximately 5 months ago if memory serves me correctly. He asked if I would join his site dedicated to nothing but Certified Renovators and Firms. I have mentioned the Certified Renovator Council of North America’s site before as a good resource for those trying to comply with the myriad issues brought out by this regulation.  Lately Dean has completed a Certified Lead Inspector class, and one of the main issues they brought up was something called the LSHR which he brought to the groups attention. I asked if he would like to do a guest post on this & needless to say, he was more than happy to:

Is it RRP or LSHR?

While more and more people are hearing about EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, little attention is being given to HUD’s LSHR (Lead Safe Housing Rule).  This could be a painful mistake for the contractor.

Homeowners don’t really need to understand the difference between RRP and LSHR.  Their primary concern of being lead safe is met whether RRP or LSHR are being done.  However, contractors need to be very well informed on the differences.  You would hate to take all of the EPA lead safe precautions, only to find HUD enforcement knocking on your door.

In HUD’s mind, certified renovators have been trained in knowing the differences.  This was done during the lead renovator course.  So, certified renovators are now “in the know” and can be held accountable for the differences between RRP and LSHR.

The Differences

On HUD’s website, it says; “The Lead Safe Housing Rule applies to all target housing that is federally owned and target housing receiving Federal assistance”.  Homes with FHA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, banks receiving TARP funds, VA, HUD and many more government agencies’ assistance … fall under LSHR … not RRP.  It could very well be that the majority of projects a contractor works on … actually fall under the LSHR, instead of RRP.  FHA mentions that over 30% of homes are under its help alone and in certain markets that number grows to 50% of homes.

Certified Renovators got a small taste of the differences when they took their 8-hour lead renovator course.  Unfortunately, it was only a few moments of discussion.  Some of those differences can be found at http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/enforcement/lshr_rrp_changes.cfm.

However, knowing these differences won’t help you achieve full compliance.  A contractor needs to understand the whole Lead Safe Housing Rule, before they can fully understand all the differences.

Recent RRP Rule Changes

With the recent changes and the future proposed changes to the RRP Rule, you will begin noticing a pattern.  Slowly, the RRP will begin mimicking the LSHR.

  1. LSHR didn’t have an opt-out provision and now the RRP doesn’t either.
  2. LSHR requires information to be given out after the job.  RRP has just changed its rule to where information is to be given to homeowner after the project is completed.
  3. LSHR requires either the assumption of lead based paint or an inspection by a lead inspector/assessor.  The LSHR does not allow a test swab to be used.  In September of this year, the LeadCheck test swabs (as they presently are) will no longer be approved for use.
  4. LSHR requires clearance, instead of the verification that RRP uses.  By next year, we will probably find the RRP rule changed to where the “white glove test” can no longer be used on many projects.

Educating Ourselves

 Contractors should study the LSHR themselves and help other contractors become aware of these differences. 

  1. At a minimum, discussions should be started in trade magazines, contractor organizations and at different forums.  We’ve started one such discussion at our forum
  2. Read the lead guide from HUD http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/library/lead/LeadGuide_Eng.pdf
  3. Begin asking the homeowners if the property has a federal loan or federally assisted.  Personally, I am creating a short sentence on the signature form of the receipt of the Renovate Right pamphlet.  The sentence gives a place to check if the home is/isn’t federally assisted/loan.

The Lead Safe Housing Rule has been in effect for over a decade.  Few contractors have followed this law (with the possible exception of HUD owned property) and fewer yet, have seen enforcement actions take place.

With the new EPA RRP Rule being more publicized, this could change and enforcement of the LSHR could be increased.

Dean Lovvorn
Certified Renovator Council of North America

  • Bathroom Remodeling Seattle

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