Mayor Jackson’s take on Cleveland lead inspections wrongly puts landlord interests over children’s health

His view elevates the property interest of landlords at the expense of the health of our children, which is unacceptable.
Op-Ed (Ohio)

Abigail Staudt
Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)
February 26, 2017

Tags: Housing, Lead Poisoning

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Cleveland


According to studies over decades, lead hazards in housing cause irreversible health problems, including permanent neurological damage, in children. There is no safe blood level of lead. No housing unit should be considered decent and safe if there are lead hazards. Owning properties to rent is a business choice. Landlords who cannot keep their properties to code and thus endanger the health of innocent children should not be in this business.

At Legal Aid, we see the consequences of lead poisoning on children every day. Our education lawyers fight for the rights of children to get special services in school because lead poisoning has caused irreversible learning disabilities. Our health lawyers fight for families’ access to healthcare due to the consequences of lead poisoning. Our housing lawyers advocate for more safe and affordable housing for low-income tenants and fight landlords who fail to repair the poor conditions issues in homes they rent. And, our colleagues in Juvenile Court see the consequences of lead poisoning each day, too: Early childhood lead poisoning is linked to aggression and increased crime rates in juveniles.