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U.S. Announces Settlement Against Chicago Owners and Management Companies

Release Date: 04/12/2012
Contact Information: Josh Singer, 312-353-5069, singer.joshua@epa.gov

(CHICAGO – April 9, 2012) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Wilmette Real Estate & Management Company, LLC; WR Property Management, LLC; 14 affiliated limited liability companies and Mr. Cameel Halim in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois.

According to HUD and EPA, these owners and management companies in Chicago and Evanston violated the federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (Residential Lead Act) and implementing regulations (Lead Disclosure Rule) by failing to properly inform some tenants that their pre-1978 homes may contain potentially dangerous levels of lead. The City of Chicago Department of Public Health issued lead abatement notices for approximately 22 properties owned or managed by the companies.

As a result of the settlement, Mr. Halim and the 16 limited liability companies will replace windows or abate lead-based paint from the windows in 14 buildings containing 463 units, and abate friction and impact porch surfaces and stabilize deteriorating lead-based paint on remaining porch surfaces in 10 buildings, within five years. In addition to the estimated $2.3 million of window replacement/abatement and porch remediation work, Mr. Halim and the companies will also pay a $125,000 civil monetary penalty.

“Ensuring that families have the right information so that they can make decisions on protecting their children’s health is important to HUD,” said Jon L. Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. “This settlement sends a message to landlords of pre-1978 housing across the country that they make sure to properly disclose the required lead information to the families they rent to.”

"Through these enforcement actions, EPA is sending a clear message to landlords and property managers that protecting children from exposure to lead-based paint is one of our highest priorities," EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said.

For more information:

www.hud.gov/offices/lead/

www.epa.gov/lead/