How Louisville streamlined the lead abatement process to better serve citizens

Lead-based paint is a serious health risk, especially in structures built prior to 1978. The Lead Safe Louisville (LSL) team helps low to moderate income families with children under 6 years of age who are at risk for lead poisoning — and a recent examination of its process has allowed the team to serve more people, more efficiently and effectively.

The team walks the families through the entire lead abatement process, which includes a full Lead Inspection Risk Assessment, an Environmental Risk Assessment, the financing process through the Housing and Urban Development agency, selection of contractors, relocation and construction, and the final clearance test.
While the process is lengthy and involves coordination among various entities, the LSL team felt that it could serve the citizens better by revisiting the entire process to see if it could be streamlined. With the help of the Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation, a team was assembled to study the process using the Six Sigma methodology.
The lead abatement process was streamlined from start to finish.

Some impactful results included:
The process was reduced from 205 days to 183 days, potentially allowing us to serve 15 more clients during the grant period.
For owner-occupied dwellings, notes and mortgages are no longer required, eliminating 21 days from the process.
The closing documents have been streamlined from 8 separate documents to 3 documents, increasing transparency and efficiency.
Preparation of documents now takes less time, paper, ink, and storage space.
Increased team communication has resulted in the team asking more holistic questions, thereby reducing duplication and redundancies.
A whiteboard was installed for more open communication and information sharing.
There is better communication between the historical home review team and the LSL team.
There is a more streamlined process between the County Attorney’s Office and the LSL team.
There is also better communication with the client which ensures that client expectations are met and exceeded.

Some long term solutions include hiring additional staff, conducting cross functional training, creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and working on increasing the contractor base. A more competitive bidding process will result in higher quality rehab construction. Additionally, Louisville is currently working on an RFP for rehab software in order to improve tracking, reporting, and the ability to have actionable data.
Louisville’s Office of Performance Improvement & Innovation will continue to support these efforts through the work of their office in the areas of strategic planning, performance management, continuous improvement, and innovation.

To learn more about the Office of Performance Improvement, you can visit their webpage at