Frequently Asked Questions About Lead Inspections at NYCHA

I was notified that I am scheduled for a lead paint inspection - why does my apartment need to be checked for lead paint hazards?

Lead paint inspections and assessments are very important, because exposure to lead-based paint can cause serious health problems, especially in children and pregnant women.

Lead-based paint was used before 1978, but was federally banned that year. If the original lead paint has been covered over, sealed, and is in good shape, lead paint is usually not a problem. But if lead-based paint is peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or is damp, it is a health hazard.   

When lead paint peels and cracks, it makes lead dust. Children can be poisoned if they swallow or breathe in lead dust. Children under 6 years old are at higher risk of lead exposure because their bodies are still developing, and children this age tend to put their hands and things they pick up into their mouths. Exposure to lead can damage the brain and nervous system.

What do I do if there are children under the age of in my apartment?  

New York City law requires that you inform NYCHA whether a child under 6 years of age lives in and/or routinely spends 10 or more hours each week in your apartment. This information determines NYCHA’s next steps for taking protective measures if there is lead-based paint in the apartment.  

If a child lives with you, or regularly visits your apartment, here is how you can let NYCHA know:

  • Respond to the Annual Lead-Based Paint and Window Guard Notice that NYCHA sends to your home every January.
  • If you did not return this year's notice, please visit the Self-Service Portal ( to provide the required information or visit your Property Management Office for assistance. 
  • Inform NYCHA as part of your Annual or Interim Recertification.   

Will all NYCHA apartments be inspected?  

NYCHA will complete lead paint inspections for all NYCHA apartments built before 1978 that have not been previously tested or abated. This amounts to approximately 134,000 apartments.

How does NYCHA determine if there is lead paint in an apartment?
NYCHA uses two different ways to identify lead paint and lead-based paint hazards in apartments:

  • A lead inspection uses special equipment known as an XRF analyzer to determine if paint has lead. Inspections may also involve taking paint chip samples, which are sent to a lab for analysis.
  • Visual assessments check known or suspected lead-based paint to see if it is chipping, peeling, or damaged. If damaged lead paint is identified, NYCHA will schedule remediation to fix the problem. 

Do I need a work order for a lead inspection or abatement?  
No; NYCHA’s Lead Hazard Control Department will schedule the inspections and, if any lead paint is found, any follow-up work for abatement.  

How do I know when my appointment is scheduled?  

  • NYCHA’s Lead Hazard Control Department sends two inspection notices to residents; the first is delivered two weeks prior to the appointment, and the second is sent five days in advance of the scheduled date. Property managers will ensure the notices are delivered. 
  • Residents also receive a robocall reminder 48 hours prior to the inspection.
  • Resident association leaders are also informed of the XRF inspection schedule. This information can be found on the MyNYCHA app and website ( under the “Apartment Inspections” icon.     

How will the inspection be completed?  

Two lead inspectors, who are independent contractors, will use advanced technology to detect any lead paint in the walls. Lead inspectors have a strict protocol that is followed in a specific order, as required by law, no matter who the contractor is. They will also complete a visual inspection, looking for any signs of chipping or cracking paint.

How long does the inspection take?  

If inspectors can access all the walls and windows in every room in your apartment, it should take no more than an hour.  

What about COVID-19 protocols?  

If any member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please notify property management staff ahead of time, or the inspectors before they enter your home. You will be rescheduled for the inspection.   

The lead inspectors will wear masks while in your home to protect you and your family. Please notify the Property Management Office immediately if you see any inspectors without masks on.    

What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?  
An adult 18 years of age or older must be home during the entire inspection. The inspectors will need access to all rooms in your home, including a small area of the walls inside the closets, bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and windowsills. A clear path to the walls in each of these rooms is required. No doors can remain locked inside the apartment.  

What if I can’t be home for my inspection appointment?

Please contact your Property Management Office as soon as possible to arrange for an alternative appointment.

How long will it take to receive the results of my lead inspection?

You will receive the results in a Notice of Evaluation/Disclosure letter 10-15 days after the date of inspection in the mail. 

What happens if lead-based paint is found in my apartment?  

If lead paint is identified and you have a child under 6, NYCHA will visually assess the lead paint in your apartment twice per year to make sure it is not peeling, cracking, or damaged. If it is, NYCHA will schedule a remediation to fix the paint. When doing this, NYCHA will use lead-safe practices, such as using plastic sheeting and cleaning up the work area using special techniques. After the work is done, NYCHA will then send another team to take a dust sample to ensure that the area has been cleaned properly.

If you notice any of these areas peeling, cracking, or damaged at any point throughout the year, you should immediate notify NYCHA. NYCHA will send a team to perform the work described above as a priority. 

NYCHA also plans to perform abatement of all lead paint in its apartments. Abatement means the paint will be fully removed from the apartment, or covered with an approved material. NYCHA will be starting with abatement in apartments with children under 6 this year. If you are notified that your apartment will be abated, NYCHA will work with your family to ensure this work is performed safely and as conveniently as possible. If abatement occurs in certain rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, or bedrooms, you may be offered temporary accommodations, such as a hotel, while the work is being performed. Most abatements should last no more than 1 to 2 days. 

What about the paint in the common areas in my building?

  • Please notify your property manager if you see peeling, cracking, or damaged paint in any common area, particular in areas where children may congregate or play. 
  • Specific protocols are put in place for lead paint testing and abatement of common areas. As the testing results, layout, and conditions can be unique in each common area, abatement plans are building-specific. 
  • Your property management and resident association leadership will communicate any activity and resident requirements regarding lead paint abatement in common areas.

Concerned about lead poisoning?  Lead poisoning is preventable. Avoid exposure.  
Here’s what you can do:   
Contact NYCHA:

  • NYCHA residents concerned about lead-based paint can call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771.  
  • To report peeling or chipped paint in your apartment, please call the CCC at 718-707-7771 or use the MyNYCHA app or website (    

Protect Your Family:  

  • Keep children away from peeling paint and home renovations.  
  • Wash floors and windowsills often. Wash children's hands and toys, too.  
  • Remove shoes before entering your home.  
  • Use only cold tap water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula.  
  • Wash work clothes separately from the family laundry if someone in your household works in construction.  
  • Learn more about avoiding products that may contain lead, such as imported pottery, food and cosmetics, and traditional medicines. 
  • Visit or for more lead-safety information.  

Get tested:  

  • A blood test is the only way to find out if you or your child have an elevated blood lead level.  
  • In New York State, children must be tested for lead poisoning at ages 1 and 2, and screened for risk up to age 6.  
  • Ask your doctor about testing older children if you think they may have been exposed to lead.  
  • Pregnant women should be assessed for lead exposure at their first prenatal visit.  
  • Call 311 for help finding a doctor or clinic.  

If you have any questions for NYCHA’s Lead Hazard Control team, please reach out to