September 10, 2019

House Overwhelmingly Passes Harris’s Bill to Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Public Housing

Harris calls on Senate to pass the Safe Housing for Families Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Tuesday applauded the House passage of the Safe Housing for Families Act, legislation that requires public and publicly subsidized housing to have carbon monoxide detectors.

In March, after multiple reports of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in public housing units, Harris introduced the Senate companion bill in conjunction with Representatives Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Joe Cunningham (D-SC). 

“I applaud my colleagues in the House for passing our legislation to ensure that families living in public housing are finally protected from carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Sen. Harris. “Right now, too many vulnerable families across the country are living without carbon monoxide detectors in their homes, needlessly putting lives at risk. It’s time for the Senate to pass the Safe Housing for Families Act and stop these totally preventable tragedies.”

“In the few months that I’ve been in Congress, at least four Americans have died in public housing complexes from carbon monoxide poisoning, from Columbia to Detroit. Every single one of these deaths could have been avoided,” said Rep. Cunningham. “I’m proud the House took a critical step today towards preventing senseless deaths in the future by passing the Safe Housing for Families Act.”

In June, the House Financial Services Committee referred the bill to the House floor with unanimous support. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson has spoken favorably about the legislation, which expedites and funds a proposed rule announced by Carson in April requiring carbon monoxide detectors to be installed on HUD housing. HUD has acknowledged that congressional action is needed to implement the rule change quickly.