Press Release

97 State Legislators Call for HUD to Center Health and Climate in Public Housing

November 14, 2022

Region

National

NCEL Point of Contact

Clara Summers
Climate and Energy Manager

Contact

Washington, D.C. – Today, 97 members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, representing 30 states, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requesting the enactment of 29 regulatory changes that would improve home health and climate preparedness in U.S. public housing. 

The legislators stand in support of a petition from the Public Health Law Center (PHLC) and other organizations requesting a phase-out of gas-fired appliances in HUD-assisted housing, support for building electrification, and planning to mitigate climate-related health risks, among other proposals.

HUD-assisted buildings account for an estimated 13.6 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, with fossil-fuel-powered appliances being a significant contributor to energy use and adverse health effects. The letter underscores that the common use of gas-powered appliances in public housing compounds existing inequities. For instance, public housing residents already face higher levels of harmful outdoor pollution

Phasing out fossil fuels in public housing would address urgent climate and public health priorities to the benefit of the planet and many underserved communities. HUD has a leading role to play in this effort by building on its existing climate efforts.

This letter was spearheaded by Minnesota Representative Jamie Long. The full letter can be viewed here.

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Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,200 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.