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National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) Partners With Sherwin-Williams to Target Lead Risks in Neglected Housing

NOT IN OUR HOUSE Initiative Will Educate Families And Increase Landlord


WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Council of Negro Women and The Sherwin-Williams Company are pleased to announce "NOT IN OUR HOUSE," an initiative to educate families about health risks in the home arising from poor maintenance and neglect and to encourage property owners and landlords to provide safer living environments. In many low-income and troubled neighborhoods, children are unnecessarily exposed to substandard housing conditions that could present a serious danger to their health. Landlords who expose families to unsafe conditions need to be held accountable. Local enforcement of housing codes and increased awareness of potentially dangerous housing conditions in these troubled communities are critical.

"Bad landlords who rent to our families will be held accountable when they fail to provide well maintained and safe housing," said Dr. Dorothy Height, NCNW Executive Director. She added, "We are going to reach out in our neighborhoods and make sure that our families know how to protect their children, identify potential lead risks and report lead hazards landlords have failed to address."

With the dramatic decline in elevated blood lead levels over the last few decades, the problems that remain are mainly found in neglected and poorly maintained pre-1978 housing. These properties may not only pose risks of exposure to lead, but also other potential health and safety hazards. Educating families and holding landlords accountable for substandard living conditions will help protect our children from potential lead hazards. The NOT IN OUR HOUSE initiative will:

1. Work with key public officials to improve housing code enforcement

and make rental properties safer for families;

2. Disseminate information to landlords and families on how to

identify potential health hazards and to perform proper

maintenance, such as lead-safe and healthy home practices;

3. Target community outreach efforts to increase awareness in at-risk


4. Discourage government policies, action or litigation that would

protect or reward neglectful property owners.

NOT IN OUR HOUSE represents the expansion of Sherwin-Williams' HomeWork program, which trains hundreds of disadvantaged residents of cities across America to become productive professional painters with instruction in lead- safe work practices and healthy home techniques. Through the HomeWork program, Sherwin-Williams is painting the NCNW national headquarters.

For information concerning NCNW or the NOT IN OUR HOUSE initiative, please contact Alfreda Davis at The National Council of Negro Women, Inc., 633 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004, Telephone: (202) 737-0120

Contact: Alfreda Davis

(202) 737-0120

SOURCE National Council of Negro Women
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