Congress has passed a new bill that requires carbon monoxide alarms in public housing. Last year, an NBC News investigation found that at least 13 public housing residents had died from carbon monoxide poisoning since 2003. The bill was part of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package.
“No family should worry about dying in their sleep,” Jesús García, a Representative from Illinois that wrote the bill, said. “The government must take responsibility for the safety of working families in housing it provides, and passage of this bill is a major step to provide safe housing for all families.”
According to NBC News, the bill provides $300 million in funding. It requires carbon monoxide detectors in all public housing units and private properties whose owners or tenants receive federal rental subsidies.
“For decades, the entirely preventable deaths of public housing residents went largely ignored, even as additional lives were in jeopardy,” Emily Benfer, a professor, and expert in public health and law said.
Public housing authorities and private owners will have two years to install the detectors. The law will go into effect in 2023.
Carbon monoxide can cause death, permanent brain damage, heart problems, and other serious health conditions.