By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor,

Residents of Barry Farm Dwellings in Southeast, D.C. received a notice last week alarming them that “lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards” had been identified throughout the housing complex.  EmpowerDC, an organization that works closely with the housing complexes in Ward 8, posted the notice on Twitter.

“Why no concern for lead over lived there, only now that structures are being torn down? Criminal,” EmpowerDC wrote.

Residents of Barry Farm Dwellings received troubling news about their homes recently. (Courtesy photo)

The presence of lead became apparent during a citywide inspection of the 56 Housing Authority properties in the District, home to about 20,000 residents, according to Washington City Paper.

The letter residents received, written and signed by Deputy Executive Director and Special Counsel Chelsea Johnson, explained that lead-based paint is in every building constructed before 1978.

“Barry Farm Dwellings was built in 1943.  During a recent inspection of the property, the presence of either lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazard were found,” Johnson wrote. “The professionals who inspected the property provided a formal Risk Assessment Report and have included specific recommendation to DCHA on how to address these issues.”

Residents are able to see the full report online or pick it up from the Barry Farms management office, and in the meantime certain renovations are supposed to be happening to address the issues.

“You will see us diligently working at the property and/ or in your apartment as DCHA follows the recommendations made by the Risk Assessment Report,” Johnson said.

Additionally there will be meetings with residents in Barry Farm Dwellings.

Yet the question remains- are the few dozen families currently living in the housing complex affectionately known as “Barry Farms?” safe?

The letter to Barry Farms residents bolds the following sentence, “Please note that lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can be a health hazard, especially for young children and pregnant women.”

According to Washington City Paper, DCHA is required to address lead issues within 90 days in units where a child is younger than six-years-old lives.

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor