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Healthy Homes Collaborative Accomplishments on Systematic Code Enforcement:

Prior to 2002, HHC tried to get the Housing and Community Investment Department
of Los Angeles (HCIDLA; formerly dba LAHD) to incorporate lead safety into its housing
code enforcement inspections. They said lead was not a housing problem and was not
in housing law. HHC, working with the Western Center on law and Poverty, educated
policymakers about lead poisoning prevention which resulted in SB 460; giving local
government agencies the legal authority to require landlords safely repair lead
hazards before children are exposed.

After passage of SB 460, the HHC’s policy work resulted in the 2004 launch of the City of Los
Angeles’ Lead Poisoning Prevention Code Enforcement Pilot Program. The pilot -the
first housing code enforcement program in the state (and the nation for that matter) to identify
and repair lead hazards in housing before children are poisoned- is a collaboration between the
City of L.A. HCIDLA, the L.A. County Department of Public Health and HHC member CBOs to
empower families to advocate for themselves. Community organizers partner with code
enforcement inspectors to target high-risk buildings where children are present to ensure lead
hazards are repaired using lead-safe work practices and to enroll qualifying properties into the
HUD funding for lead hazard remediation program (LHRP) at HCIDLA.

In 2005, this collaboration between community and government resulted in California’s first
criminal prosecution of a landlord for violation of Senate Bill 460. This case jettisoned the
L.A. City Attorney’s office –frustrated with the limited penalties– to co-sponsor new legislation
with HHC to increase the penalties. AB2861 was passed in order to make a second violation of a
Stop Work Order result in stiffer penalties ($5,000 and/or 6 months in jail,) now a
misdemeanor. This legislative effort also resulted in the City Attorney awarding the HHC over
$400,000 cy pres funds (Prop 65 settlement funds for lead in Pepsi bottled in Mexico, and Toys
from China) to continue our work on the ground. We re-granted $250,000 of it to our member

In 2009 we co-founded (and co-chair) of the statewide California Health and Housing
Coalition (CHHC) and we have succeeded in passing legislation to address some of the policy
gaps identified by our membership. They include:

1) AB 967 -Amend state law to give local code enforcement officers the legal authority to identify
and abate pests and vermin when a health officer is not available. Allows all tenants in
California to have state law enforced in their community and help resolve unhealthy housing for
families in communities across the state. (2013)
2) SB 1167 Aligns existing state codes, to require rental property owners cited for a pest
infestation to eliminate the pest and remediate any structural deficiencies related to the
infestation. (2014)
3) SB 328 Requires landlords and property managers to notify tenants of any do-it-yourself pesticide use, ensures tenants have the right to know about the pesticides used in their homes
and are given the opportunity to take steps to avoid unwanted pesticide exposure independent
of who is applying the pesticides. (2015)
4) SB 655 adds mold as a substandard housing condition and provides clarity to local
enforcement agencies to require owners to address moldy conditions and gives tenants the
right to live in safe, healthy housing. (2015)

Healthy Homes Collaborative, P.O. Box 31796, Los Angeles, CA 90031  P: (323)221-8320  F: (323)226-9587

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