On the second day of Harlem-based WE ACT’S, New York City Healthy Homes Summit, after an emotional appeal from WE ACT Member/ NYCHA tenant Michelle Holmes, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James announced that she would be supporting the Asthma Free Homes Bill (Intro 385).
The bill which was introduced by Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Richie Torres, Corey Johnson, and supported by the Coalition for Asthma Free Housing. Its purpose is to enforce stricter regulations on indoor asthma allergen hazards in residential dwellings. These allergen hazards include, but are not limited to, mold and pest infestation caused by maintenance problems such as water infiltration, moisture control, and pest entryways. If passed, this bill would set standards for private building owners, place the burden of responsibility on them to investigate any complaints of these allergens, and seek resolution of these hazards by a certain date. The bill would also require the landlord to provide: a notice to all tenants who sign a lease that informs them of their rights as well as a pamphlet developed by the Health Department explaining how to identify indoor pollutants and the proper protocols to follow for their correction.