DANBURY, Conn. -- U.S. Reps. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) introduced the Healthy Homes Tax Credit Act on Tuesday, which would provide a $5,000 tax credit to help homeowners rehab properties to reduce or remove threats of contamination from lead, radon, and asbestos.
The bill, which is the House companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), would help residents replace old plumbing in their homes as well as cover the abatement of lead paint and dust.
Esty and DeLauro announced the bill introduction Tuesday at a press conference at the New Haven Health Department.
“The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has shown us what can happen when we ignore the warning signs of lead poisoning and corroding pipes,” said Esty. “Connecticut residents shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars just to get lead and other poisonous substances out of their home. The Healthy Homes Tax Credit Act will help ensure that all families, regardless of their income, can protect their children from the lifelong health impacts of lead poisoning.”
In Connecticut, many older homes have lead paint and older pipes. Homes built before 1950 – which includes 30 percent of Connecticut’s homes, compared to just 19 percent nationally – are especially at risk for these elements.
“Our nation’s infrastructure is aging and in desperate need of repair. Even our homes—especially those built before the 1978—are at an alarmingly high risk for having lead pipes or lead paint. There is no ‘healthy’ level of lead for the human body,” said DeLauro. “We cannot kick the can down the road and hope the problem goes away. We must be proactive, and do everything we can to keep children and families safe. The Healthy Homes Tax Credit Act will help ensure that homeowners can raise their children in a place where they do not have to worry about toxic substances.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, as of 2013, 2,000 Connecticut children had lead poisoning, and approximately 60,000 children had lead exposure.