CLPHA Statement on PHA Radon and Mitigation Practices
WASHINGTON (November 22, 2019) - The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities issued the following statement in response to news coverage about radon testing and mitigation practices in public housing:
Public housing authorities (PHAs) are committed to providing rental housing that is safe, decent, and affordable for millions of low- and very-low income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. PHAs are regulated and funded by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which sets health and safety standards for PHA properties.
HUD does not require or fund PHAs to test for or mitigate radon in public housing units. While HUD does have radon testing and remediation requirements for certain multi-family properties, these do not apply to public housing.
Chronic underfunding of public housing has led to a mounting capital needs backlog of an estimated $70 billion, yet HUD’s most recent budget proposal would have slashed funding for public housing by $4.6 billion and zeroed out the Public Housing Capital Fund, which is designed to address capital needs.
PHAs welcome consistent standards with adequate funding to mitigate hazards through grants or other funding opportunities. As an example, CLPHA strongly supports bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate to mandate the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all public housing units. The Safe Housing for Families Act would provide $300 million over a three-year period to install and maintain the detectors.
CLPHA is supportive of these and other comprehensive efforts to improve conditions in HUD-assisted housing for low and very low-income residents.