Legal Alert

HUD Updates Guidance Related to Carbon Monoxide

by Molly R. Bryson and Georgi Banna
February 2, 2022

Summary

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notice on January 31 to clarify federal requirements for carbon monoxide alarms and detectors.

The Upshot

Public housing agencies and authorities (PHAs), and owners of properties that receive federal rental assistance must comply with the International Fire Code (IFC) 2018 standards on the installation of carbon monoxide alarms or detectors by December 27, 2022.

The carbon monoxide requirement was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and provided for meeting the requirement within two years of enactment.

Carbon monoxide alarms or detectors must be installed in each dwelling unit and the devices must meet or exceed the standards set in Chapters 9 and 11 of the 2018 International Fire Code.

The Bottom Line

HUD encourages agencies and owners to provide information on carbon monoxide to residents to promote safety and limit carbon monoxide exposure. In the future, HUD will develop resident-focused carbon monoxide educational material that be hosted on the HUD website.

On January 31, 2022, the HUD Offices of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), Housing, and Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes issued a joint notice that clarifies the Federal requirements for carbon monoxide alarms and detectors.

All Public Housing (PH), Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Project-Based Voucher (PBV), Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202), and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811) must comply with the International Fire Code (IFC) 2018 standards on the installation of carbon monoxide alarms or detectors by December 27, 2022.

This carbon monoxide requirement was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116-260, 134 Stat. 2162 (2020), which that was passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 27, 2020, and provided for meeting the requirement within two years of enactment.

Carbon monoxide alarms or detectors must be installed in each dwelling unit that received tenant- or project-based rental assistance that meet or exceed the standards set in Chapters 9 and 11 of the 2018 International Fire Code (IFC) published by the International Code Council (ICC).

Section 915 and Section 1103.9 of the IFC provide the situations when a carbon monoxide detector or alarm is required in units and buildings. HUD encourages PHAs and owners to adopt the 2018 IFC as soon as possible and HUD will enforce the 2018 IFC carbon monoxide standards beginning after the effective date of December 27, 2022.

The notice goes on to further provide and summarize guidance on preventing carbon monoxide from entering buildings and units. The guidance was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Fire Administration. Of particular focus is that carbon monoxide alarms and detectors are not a replacement for properly installed, used, and maintained fuel-burning appliances or well-ventilated areas.

While this notice provides guidance and direction to PHAs and property owners, HUD also encourages providing information on carbon monoxide to residents to promote safety and limit carbon monoxide exposure. In the future, HUD will develop resident-focused carbon monoxide educational material that will be hosted on the HUD website.

The notice also provides the following list of additional carbon monoxide information:

The full notice, Carbon Monoxide Alarms or Detectors in U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-Assisted Housing can be found here.

Ballard Spahr will continue to track this important health and safety matter. If you have questions, feel free to contact Georgi Banna at bannag@ballardspahr.com. Ballard Spahr is a national leader working at the forefront of the legal and business elements of affordable housing and community development. Our attorneys ensure that clients get the most benefit from transactions and help navigate shifts in the market, regulatory obligations, and government incentive programs. Please reach out if you have questions or visit us at Affordable Housing and Community Development.

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