Frequently Asked Questions About TEMPO: NYCHA’s New Program to Address Lead

What is TEMPO?

NYCHA’s Team for Enhanced Management, Planning, and Outreach (TEMPO) manages the outreach, temporary relocation, inspection, and remediation program in NYCHA apartments where there is known or presumed lead-based paint, and where a child under the age of 6 lives or routinely spends more than 10 hours per week. The TEMPO program has different urgency priorities depending on whether children under 6 live in the apartment or only regularly visit.

What is lead abatement? 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), abatement refers to a measure or set of measures aimed at permanently eliminating a known lead-based paint hazard. Abatement may include paint removal or enclosing an area with an approved product. NYCHA will perform lead-based paint abatement in apartments where an inspection determined that lead-based paint is present, and a previous abatement has not been performed.

What is a component?

Components are simply the different objects that make up your apartment. Examples of components are walls, windowsills, shelves, pipes, baseboards, etc. In many NYCHA apartments, only a small number of components contain lead-based paint. For instance, an apartment may have lead-based paint on a pipe in the bathroom, but the rest of the apartment does not test positive for lead. When NYCHA performs an abatement, NYCHA will remove the paint from the component or components with lead paint and replace it.

How will I be notified when my apartment is identified for lead-based paint removal?

When NYCHA receives information that a child under 6 lives in or routinely visits an apartment with known or presumed lead-based paint, NYCHA’s Healthy Homes division or it’s representative will contact the head of household to explain the TEMPO program and its services.

What is the difference between a door knock/initial phone call and a walkthrough?

A door knock/initial phone call is our first effort to reach you to discuss the TEMPO program. A walkthrough is scheduled with you after the initial contact.

What if I miss the door knock visit?

If you are not home for the door knock visit, a NYCHA representative will leave a letter behind or another attempt will be made to contact you by phone.

What happens during the scheduled walkthrough?

If you are not available for your scheduled walkthrough, please contact the TEMPO program as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment. It is important that you make every effort possible to participate in the walkthrough so that the lead abatement process can proceed.

Can I have an interpreter at my walkthrough? How do I arrange this?

We can accommodate interpretation services via phone for the walkthrough. When scheduling the walkthrough, please indicate the language of preference.

How long does the lead abatement work take?

The duration of the work depends on the number of lead-positive components, the type of components requiring abatement, and the unique requirements of each apartment. If necessary, the temporary relocation will be 3 to 11 days to allow for preparation, replacement, and clearance testing. The lead abatement work itself will take 1 to 8 days within this time frame. TEMPO program staff will provide an estimated duration of each household’s relocation, if necessary.

What do I need to do in advance of relocating and turning over my apartment for abatement work, if necessary?

Depending on the location of the lead positive components and the space needed for the abatement work area, some furniture (and its contents) and other movable objects may need to be moved away from walls, and cabinets in the bathroom and/or kitchen may need to be emptied and boxed (boxes may be left in the apartment). This will be identified at the walkthrough with the NYCHA representative.

Will workers repaint and hang up cabinets/ shelves after the lead-based paint is removed?

Re-painting will be done only in areas where the abatement work is performed. Shelving and cabinetry will be replaced with NYCHA-issued appliances if these components are abated.

Can I request a specific color of paint or provide my own paint?

Contractors repaint abated components with NYCHA- approved/issued paint products.

How can I ensure my personal items are secure?

NYCHA has retained professional, licensed, insured, and certified contractors to perform abatement work. In addition, we advise you to bring valuables with you during relocation for peace of mind. If there is a room in your home that is not being abated, we also suggest locking any valuables in that room.

When workers leave my apartment, do they ensure the apartment is always locked?

Yes, apartments are locked for the security of your apartment and the safety of neighbors during the abatement process.

How can I ensure my key is safe and my apartment is secure if I provide the key weeks prior to abatement?

The keys are stored in a locked box that only the NYCHA team managing abatement work in your development can access. No one will access your apartment until you have checked into your hotel.

When do I get my key back?

Your keys will be given back when you return to your apartment after the abatement work has been completed.

Will the apartment be completely cleaned prior to my return?

Prior to your return, the abatement is considered complete only after the areas that were abated have been wiped down, vacuumed, cleaned, and tested to confirm that there are no elevated levels of lead dust.

Do I receive documents stating the apartment is clear of lead-based paint?

A disclosure letter stating that the home is free of lead-based paint will be provided to you following the completion of work.

Will the same person who performs my walkthrough be the person doing the work on the apartment?

No, abatement work is performed by specialized and certified lead abatement contractors overseen by NYCHA.

Which hotel will I be staying at, if I must temporarily relocate?

A member of NYCHA’s relocation team will identify available hotel options within the vicinity of a convenient location for you and coordinate all hotel details with you. Residents may also opt out of staying at a hotel and stay with family or friends instead.

What is included in a relocation package?

The relocation package includes a relocation agreement that needs to be signed, hotel details, and a prepaid stored-value money card for transportation and meals.

Will I receive assistance for food costs while I am temporarily relocated for the lead abatement?

Meal vouchers are determined based on verified household composition. Vouchers cover three meals a day for verified household members for the entire stay, except for check-in day (only dinner will be covered) and on check-out day (only breakfast will be covered).

What if the occupants in my home are not on my lease? Will the hotel accommodation and meal vouchers be provided to them?

The hotel accommodation and meal vouchers will only be provided to verified household members on the lease.

Can I take my cats/dogs with me to the hotel?

Residents are given the option of staying at a hotel that is pet friendly (or they may opt to stay with a relative or friend).

Can I request a hotel that has a stove/cooking option?

Residents may request accommodation preferences and special needs at the time of the hotel booking, but NYCHA cannot guarantee your request will be honored due to limited hotel availability.

Are there parking fees at the hotel? Are these covered?

NYCHA does not reimburse parking fees for residents who receive funds for transportation as part of their relocation package.

Can I get separate rooms for my household? Do we need to stay in the same room?

Room quantities are determined by the verified household composition. When making reservations, we consider household composition as well as the age of those we are booking rooms for. You must be 21 and over to be in a separate room.

What if I’m unavailable to check out of the hotel at check-out time due to work obligations?

Please coordinate with hotel staff on storing your belongings in a safe space so that you can check -out prior to leaving for work (and collect your belongings after).

What happens if the abatement work takes longer than estimated?

The relocation team will communicate and coordinate any relocation extensions with residents.

During the abatement process, can I stop by my apartment to get items I’ve forgotten?

Once you temporarily relocate, your apartment is in active abatement, secured, and considered a hazardous work zone that cannot be entered. Please bring all necessary items to the hotel, including sufficient amounts of necessities like food, medication, baby formula, clothing, etc.

There is other work needed in my apartment – will this be addressed as well?

Through this initiative, only lead-based paint will be removed. However, the team working on the lead-based paint removal efforts in your apartment will communicate to NYCHA any conditions that may require follow up services.

Can I receive documents to account for missing school/work?

Temporary relocation will not impact residents’ ability to attend school or work.

Where can I find out more about lead safety?

For more information about lead, visit

For more information about lead hazard control at NYCHA, visit

You can contact the NYCHA Lead Abatement team at

To get free blood lead testing, or find a doctor, call 311

I would like to participate in the TEMPO lead abatement program and wanted to get more information. Who can I contact?

Please use the contact us form if you have any questions or need additional information about the TEMPO program.