Matt Lead Newport

RIHousing helps property owner, Matt, keep his tenants safe, healthy and happy.

Homeowner Matt is conscientious about upkeep of the rental property he owns in Newport. It’s an older house and the first rental property Matt purchased. He rents an apartment in the home to a family with two young boys. Two-year-old Jefferson has a big personality and charms visitors under the watchful eye of Jamie, his older brother. Parents Zulma and Jamie love the apartment, which is located in a neighborhood where the younger Jamie can walk to school.

With handyman skills he learned while renting, Matt has the time and energy to tackle upkeep and improvements on the property. But one issue he hadn’t considered was the hazard from lead paint that is present in many homes built before 1978. In March 2017, the Rhode Island Department of Health notified Matt that his property failed a lead test and a child in the home had elevated lead levels. Matt immediately reached out to RIHousing for help. “Correcting this was not a do-it-yourself job,” Matt says. “I knew I had to make it right for my tenants.”

RIHousing’s staff worked with Matt to develop a scope of work for interventions needed to make the home lead safe. Issues with indoor and outdoor paint were addressed; doors and windows were replaced; carpets were cleaned and soil around the house was treated. “RIHousing was amazing,” says Matt. “They held my hand throughout the entire process.”

Jamie and Zulma are relieved that the apartment is now a safe environment for their children. “We were so worried,” says Zulma. “We have such a sense of relief now and are thankful that both Matt and RIHousing were there to help.”

To find out how RIHousing’s LeadSafe Homes program can help you, call 401-450-1350.