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Reed Announces $126K to Help Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

3/03/2020 — 

PROVIDENCE, RI – In an effort to protect families from carbon monoxide poisoning, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced $126,282 in federal funding to help the Providence Housing Authority (PHA) purchase, replace, and install new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in HUD-funded properties.  The federal funds are administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Capital Emergency Fund Safety and Security Grant Program.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be a byproduct of fuel-fired combustion appliances such as furnaces, portable generators, and water heaters.  Carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous concentration levels indoors when these devices are not properly vented, operated, or maintained.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits nationwide caused by carbon monoxide poisoning every year.

The federal grant will help the Providence Housing Authority address the threat posed by carbon monoxide for 1,473 family housing units and 24 elderly/disabled units across all of its family housing developments.  Developments impacted include: Chad Brown/Admiral Terrace/Sunset Village; Codding Court; Hartford Park; Manton Heights; and Roger Williams; as well as 244 scattered site properties.  All of the units currently have operating CO/Smoke detectors, but most are nearing the end of their useful life.  The grant funds will allow PHA to replace these detector units with new units that are expected to last for years. 

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is a preventable tragedy and I commend the Providence Housing Authority for being proactive, leading on this issue, and prioritizing the safety of its residents.  These carbon monoxide detectors, when properly installed, can save lives and are worth the investment,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees HUD funding.

“The PHA is deeply committed to the safety of our residents, and this critical funding from HUD allows us to replace all of our carbon monoxide detectors in family housing without having to take away from our other capital funding that is dedicated to many important renovation projects,” said Melissa Sanzaro, Executive Director of the Providence Housing Authority.  “We are grateful to Senator Reed and our entire Rhode Island congressional delegation for advocating for this award, and we are thankful to HUD for prioritizing carbon monoxide detectors in its CFP Security grants this year.

Founded in 1939, the Providence Housing Authority develops and maintains decent, safe, and sanitary housing to address the economic and social needs of Providence residents.  Today, the PHA provides affordable housing to more than 12,000 residents in the City of Providence.  Earlier this month, on the same day President Trump proposed eliminating the Public Housing Capital Fund in his fiscal year 2021 budget, Senator Reed announced that the Providence Housing Authority would receive $6,473,131 as part of a total of $21,720,976 awarded to twenty-four Rhode Island cities and towns to help local housing authorities improve public housing and expand affordable housing opportunities for more Rhode Islanders.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include dizziness, generalized weakness, headache, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.  More information on the dangers of carbon monoxide can be found here.

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