Washington, D.C. – November 5, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator David Vitter today joined a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators from three states in introducing a resolution that urges banks and mortgage lenders to work with the estimated 1,300 homeowners in 26 states who are dealing with health and safety issues linked to the use of contaminated drywall. The homeowners have reported a range of similar problems with structural corrosion and odors, as well as many common health concerns, including headaches, rashes, burning eyes and nosebleeds.
The resolution, introduced by U.S. Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Bill Nelson and George LeMieux of Florida and Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia, encourages banks and mortgage servicers to provide temporary forbearance on mortgage payments to help affected families afford the costs of alternative housing since many of their homes are uninhabitable. [The full text of the resolution is attached.]
“In Louisiana, we’re seeing serious issues with thousands of homes across the state,” said Vitter. “Many families had to rebuild their homes following the 2005 hurricanes, and now they are faced with safety and health issues due to contaminated drywall products. These families deserve some form of assistance to help them remove this drywall and replace it with a product that meets the appropriate levels of safety and performance.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is leading a group including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry and several state departments of health on this issue.
Last week, the combined federal task force investigating the issue reported it had found elevated levels of two elements in some Chinese-made drywall: sulfur and strontium. The CPSC is conducting additional scientific tests to find the connection between these elevated levels and any reported health symptoms or corrosion effects, and results of the additional tests will be released later this month.