By City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In a nearly seven-hour hearing, Philadelphia landlords squared off against child health advocates, as a City Council committee approved a plan to require more testing for lead-based paint.
Phil Lord, of the Tenant Union Representative Network, said mandatory testing for lead dust before a new renter moves in is sorely needed.
“Cars use crash dummies. We’re using children to tell us whether or not houses are safe. That doesn’t make sense.”
But Darrell Zaslow of the landlords association HAPCO said the cost of the testing would drive some landlords out of business or get passed on to tenants.
“I came here to announce a $50-per-month rent increase for every single tenant in the city of Philadelphia occurring immediately!”
And despite dozens of landlords decrying the measure, the committee approved the plan and sent it to the full council for a vote. The sponsor, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, vowed to work with the landlord association to tweak the plan to address their concerns.