St. Louis’ Multi-Family Lead Remediation Program
In addition to the Multi-Family Window Replacement Program, the City of St. Louis recently also has a called the Multi-Family Lead Remediation Program. Where the window program only compensates landlords for the replacement of up to 10 wood windows per unit ($200 for normal windows and $400 for historic windows), this program has broader implications. Rather than compensating rehabbers just for windows, the financial benefits of this program can be applied to any lead abatement work.
If a landlord owns a multi-family rental property in the City of St. Louis with lead paint issues (almost all of them do), and decides to rehab the property, the assistance could be significant. According to the City:
Qualified projects will receive $5,000 per unit for the first two units in the property, and $1,000 for each additional unit (assuming the costs of lead remediation equal or exceed the total amount of subsidy provided by the City). The developer will be reimbursed once all of the conditions of the application have been met, including but not limited to: investment of at least $30,000 in project costs (excluding painting not associated with lead paint and floor coverings), obtaining a building permit, and some major system upgrade.
The biggest qualifier listed above is that the property must be undergoing a substantial rehabilitation exceeding $30,000 in total costs and/or two major building systems must be replaced (electric, plumbing, HVAC, etc.).
Another significant qualification, just as with the Window Program, is that the landlord must not rent the finished apartments for more than HUD’s annual “Fair Market” rents. For 2012 those rates are $638 for a single-bedroom, $792 for a two-bedroom and $1,020 for a three-bedroom in the City of St. Louis. Not exactly low-end. Plus, these rates can be raised annually in compliance with HUD’s annual “Fair Market” rate increases (HUD Rates). A landlord would be required to keep within these rates for 36 months after completion of the project.
Obviously there are other qualifications for the program, but the most important question at any time is whether or not any funds are available for the program. Since the answer to this question seems to constantly be changing, it is probably best to contact the City of St. Louis to discuss the program. You can find out the latest information on the program, as well as who the current contact is at Lead Safe St. Louis. They should be able to tell you whether or not your project could qualify and when funds might be available for assistance. Note that if this program is of interest to you, it might also be a good idea to check out it’s sibling: the Multi-Family Window Replacement Program.