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house Bill H.R. 1690

Should HUD Housing Have Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Argument in favor

HUD housing should be just as safe as any other type of housing. Therefore, it should include carbon monoxide detectors. This is a commonsense safety measure to keep residents safe.

verymary's Opinion
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09/10/2019
Financially challenged people need safe living environments as much as everybody else. The government mustn't be allowed to neglect them.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/10/2019
I have lived in places where city governments offered free CO detectors to any resident wanting them. I question providing funded grants to HUD occupants to purchase these devices. It seems so much simpler and cost effective to simply mail CO detectors directly along with a mandate that they be installed.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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09/10/2019
Yes and there needs to be 10x the amount of Section 8 housing vouchers available. Use the distressed community index, no identity politics or political vote pandering please.
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Argument opposed

Maintaining HUD properties’ safety is the responsibility of the management companies that HUD contracts out to, not the agency itself. Property managers should be responsible for ensuring carbon monoxide detectors are installed.

Joan's Opinion
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09/10/2019
The democrats don’t want any people to have to be responsible for their own lives. I bought mine so not on my tax dollars. I wouldn’t mind buying one directly for someone but not through the government. Leave it up to property management.
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JTJ's Opinion
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09/10/2019
Not the job of the federal government. This is a state issue.
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Carmine's Opinion
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09/11/2019
Maintaining HUD properties’ safety is the responsibility of the management companies that HUD contracts out to, not the agency itself. Property managers should be responsible for ensuring carbon monoxide detectors are installed.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedMarch 12th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1690?

This bill — the Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 — would require the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide carbon monoxide detectors in public housing units. Additionally, it would authorize the appropriation of $100 million in each year over the FY2020-2022 period for grants to property owners to purchase and install detectors.

Impact

Residents of HUD housing; HUD housing; and HUD.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1690

$300.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $300 million over the 2019-2024 period.

More Information

In-DepthRep.  Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) introduced this bill to provide carbon monoxide detectors in Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing units

“I am proud to introduce this straightforward, life-saving legislation, the Safe Housing for Families Act, alongside Rep. Cunningham (SC-01) and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA). No one living in America, especially those in federal, public housing, should have to worry if they will die from carbon monoxide poisoning in their own homes. Nearly half of states, including Illinois, already require carbon monoxide monitors in residential units and the Safe Housing for Families Act ensures that those living in public housing, often communities of color, the elderly, and the economically disadvantaged, are protected from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

After this bill unanimously passed the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. García added, “No one should die in public housing because of our government’s failure to protect them with the simple installation of an inexpensive carbon monoxide detector.” 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), sponsor of this bill’s Senate companion and a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, adds

“Housing is a human right. The federal government has an obligation to ensure that residents of public housing can raise their families in a safe and healthy environment. These are preventable tragedies. We must act now to get carbon monoxide detectors in HUD housing to protect the health and wellbeing of the millions who reside there.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has spoken favorably about this bill, as it expedites and funds a proposed rule announced he announced in April requiring carbon monoxide detectors to be installed on HUD housing. As an agency, HUD has acknowledged that cCongressional action is needed to implement the rule change quickly.

In a March 11, 2019 letter to HUD Secretary Carson, the National Housing Law Project, Public Justice Center, National Low Income Housing Coalition and a range of other housing and poverty advocacy organizations called on HUD to set standards to protect families from carbon monoxide exposure.

This legislation unanimously passed the House Financial Services Committee with the support of 29 Democratic House cosponsors. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), has one cosponsor, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).


Of NoteThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 400 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. every year. This includes 11 deaths from in HUD housing from 2003-March 2019, as reported by NBC News.

All rental housing subsidized by HUD is required to have smoke detectors; but the same rule doesn’t apply to federal government housing. After two residents died in the HUD-owned Allen Benedict Court public housing complex in Columbia, South Carolina on January 17, 2019, inspectors found high levels of carbon monoxide and natural gas in all 26 buildings at the complex, missing and broken smoke alarms, exposed wires, cockroach infestations, damaged ceilings, and a “high volume of rodent droppings.” 

A HUD spokesman, Brian Sullivan, described the deaths as a tragedy and said the agency was considering changes to the entire HUD building inspection process, including new requirements related to carbon monoxide, as a result. However, he also suggested that focusing on HUD’s role was misguided, arguing that “[i]t is easier to pin the tail on the federal donkey than to hold the actual housing providers accountable for what goes on in the buildings.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / sturti)

AKA

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Leading Every Resident To Safety Act of 2019

Official Title

To require carbon monoxide detectors in certain federally assisted housing, and for other purposes.

    Financially challenged people need safe living environments as much as everybody else. The government mustn't be allowed to neglect them.
    Like (20)
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    The democrats don’t want any people to have to be responsible for their own lives. I bought mine so not on my tax dollars. I wouldn’t mind buying one directly for someone but not through the government. Leave it up to property management.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I have lived in places where city governments offered free CO detectors to any resident wanting them. I question providing funded grants to HUD occupants to purchase these devices. It seems so much simpler and cost effective to simply mail CO detectors directly along with a mandate that they be installed.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes and there needs to be 10x the amount of Section 8 housing vouchers available. Use the distressed community index, no identity politics or political vote pandering please.
    Like (7)
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    Why is something which may save lives even up for discussion?!
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    How is this even a question? BTW buying the detectors separately is cheaper than buying the combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector at least where I live.
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    I agree properties should have CO2 detectors but it should be up to the property owners/managers to supply and install along with inspections from local governments and extreme fines for not having them in working order. Also I looked at Home Depot they can be gotten for less than $20.
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    We should provide safe and habitable places for our undervalued citizens.
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    Absolutely! Mandatory education for residents and a process to assure the sectors remain in working condition by changing the batteries on a strict schedule annually.
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    Why not? Right along with smoke detectors.
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    Absolutely! I find it abhorrent that this question is having to be asked and that carbon monoxide detectors are not required now. It’s a moral obligation for any landlord!
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    This is a no brainer except for the Republican Party obviously. God help us all with the gross incompetence the Trump Republican Party in charge.
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    Yes. Does HUD get a CO prior to having its residents move into their facilities? If they needed a certificate of occupancy, then they would automatically need a carbon monoxide detector.
    Like (3)
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    Yes! Smell less. More dangerous than smoke.
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    Not the job of the federal government. This is a state issue.
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    Yes, this is a no-brainer.
    Like (3)
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    Yes I believe that all housing should include carbon monoxide detectors. For some reason I thought that was already part of the code. If it is, then the most financially disadvantaged among us must be protected equally in addition, I have heard that some folks will use their ovens as a heater during the winter months because they cannot pay their utility bill.For this reason especially, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in housing for the indigent citizens.
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    Yes, but the property owner should install them.
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    Carbon monoxide detectors are needed if there are any gas appliances, gas water heater, gas or wood burning fireplace or a garage. It is up to the housing authority to make sure they are installed.
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    Another stupid question, if you ask me. Of course HUD housing should have co2 detectors.
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