HUD recently issued a notice regarding the need for carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in all HUD-assisted housing. The notice comes in the wake of two deaths due to gas leaks at a South Carolina public housing property, covered by Affordable Housing Online here.
HUD regulations do not currently require CO detectors. Up until now, HUD had deferred to local laws regarding the need for these lifesaving devices.
HUD’s notice went out nationwide to public housing authorities and private owners of HUD-assisted housing. It reminds them that they must have CO detectors if required by state or local law. In those states or local jurisdictions that do not require CO detectors, HUD strongly encourages owners to install them.
The notice also says that HUD will soon begin the rulemaking process to require carbon monoxide detectors in all HUD-assisted housing. In addition, HUD will collect data through its ongoing housing inspection process. The information will be used to determine how widespread CO detectors are currently in HUD-assisted housing.
Although not subject to HUD’s inspection system, the agency encourages tribes using federal housing funds to make sure CO detectors are present in all the units it assists.
The notice applies to the following rental assistance programs: Public Housing, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
HUD’s press release and notice can be read here.
HUD’s notice follows the introduction of legislation that will require carbon monoxide detectors in all federally assisted housing. The Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 was introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) in the Senate and Representatives Chuy Garcia (D-IL) and Joe Cunningham (D-SC) in the House. The bill also authorizes $10 million over 10 years to implement the requirements.