Hats off to New York City for protecting those with asthma!
The New York City Council passed The Asthma Free Housing Act, Intro 385.
What does the bill do?
WE ACT For Environmental Justice says the bill will:
prioritize prevention measures in homes of susceptible persons – those with diagnosed asthma, COPD, or lung cancer;
require landlords to inspect for Indoor Allergen Hazards and correct them and their causes using approved methods;
require NYC Housing and Preservation Department (HPD) to inspect for Indoor Allergen Hazards and their causes, and issue appropriate violations;
require HPD to correct violations for Indoor Allergen Hazards where Landlords fail to do so promptly;
create a system for physician referrals for housing inspections by the City for patients with asthma; and
codify safe and effective work practices for remediation of mold hazards.
What does your house or apartment have to do with your asthma? A LOT! There are many asthma triggers in a home or apartment that can make asthma worse.
Things such as: mold, cockroaches, mice, tobacco smoke, etc
It doesn't take much to make our lungs cranky and cause an asthma attack. And if you are living in an apartment and breathing in mold spores, cockroach droppings, mice droppings and tobacco smoke, your lungs are going to let you know that they are not happy.
Want proof that it's affecting renters? The national average for asthma in children is 1 in 11. In some areas of New York City with low-incomes, the rates are 1 in 4 kids.
As a mom with asthma who has 3 kids with asthma, I know that means lots of doctor visits, ER visits, medications and missed school days.
Why pass a bill to protect renters?
Well, you would think most landlords would do the right thing, right? Apparently not! As a former landlord, we would respond immediately if there was a problem with an apartment. We would tell our renters to let us know RIGHT AWAY if something was leaking. The faster we fixed it, the less damage there would be.
Sometimes, they would call us and say that something had been leaking for months. It would take us a lot longer and be a lot more expensive for us to fix the problem.
We would ask why they didn't call sooner, and would gently remind them to let us know right away if something was wrong so we could quickly fix it.
They would tell us that other landlords would raise their rent or evict them if they asked for a repair.
This is frustrating for me that people don't do the right thing! But apparently we are in the minority of actually wanting our renters to have a nice, clean place to live.
So, that means passing bills in some cities.
Thank you New York City for protecting your renters!