Last month our newest Lead Carpenter, Peter Erdei completed his Lead-Safe Certification Course, which now means every one of our Lead Carpenters are Lead-Safe Certified. Why is this important? Lead paint was used in more than 38 million homes up until 1978. Ingesting lead can affect children’s brains and nervous system causing reduced IQ and behavioral problems, and is harmful to adults. Lead is mostly ingested through dust which can come from deteriorating lead-based paint or renovation done without the proper precaution. If your home was built before 1978, you should take action to get your house tested for lead (call 1-800-424-LEAD for an inspector) and get that lead removed. Luckily the State of Massachusetts does offer several programs to help finance and even give a tax credit to help you get rid of the lead in your home.
The Massachusetts Lead Paint Removal Tax Credit
Property owners who receive a Letter of Full Compliance are eligible for a State Tax Credit equal to the cost of the de-leading expenses, or $1,500, whichever is less. Contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at 617-887-MDOR or 800-392-6089, or www.mass.gov/dor for more information.
Get the Lead Out
This program provides low cost financing to owners of 1-4 family properties to remove lead paint and reduce the possibilities of lead poisoning among children. Owner-occupants who meet the income guidelines are eligible for a 0% deferred payment loan not due until the sale, transfer or refinancing of the property. Contact the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency at 617-854-1000 or www.masshousing.com (click on Home Ownership) to locate a housing rehabilitation agency in your area who can assist you in applying for financing and in locating authorized personnel to handle the inspection and abatement process.
The Home Improvement Loan Program (HILP)
This program offers low interest loans to de-lead owner-occupied 1-4 family homes and residential condominiums that have been the borrower’s principal residence for a minimum of one year. Loans range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000 per home with a loan term of 5 to 15 years. Contact the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency at 617-854-1000 or www.masshousing.com (click on Home Ownership) for a HILP agent near you.
HUD 203(K) Program
This program helps current homeowners and investor-owners refinance their mortgage to pay for de-leading costs. Prospective buyers can finance de-leading costs through a single loan that includes their new mortgage.This program is capable of financing major de-leading jobs because the loan amount is based upon the after-rehab value. 203(K) also provides an opportunity to renovate a home and perform other major and minor repairs. Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 617-994-8200 for a list of participating lenders.