Ald. George Cardena’s new ordinance would force landlords to provide A/C from June to September.
Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy and Ald., George Cardena of the 12th Ward, proposed an ordinance last week that would require landlords to provide air conditioning for tenants, citing climate change and a number of health risks in the face of rising temperatures.
Currently city regulations only require that landlords to provide their tenants with heat during the cold months — between September 15 and June 1. Cardena’s new ordinance would mandate that landlords accordingly provide their tenants with air conditioning between June 8 and September 8.
As mentioned, his proposal cites climate change and innumerable health concerns at risk in high temperatures, including:
- respiratory challenges and exacerbation of underlying health conditions
- increased risk of susceptible populations such as the elderly
- 3.8x increase in adverse health effects in event of a heat wave
- the 739 deaths that happened as a result of the 1995 Chicago Heatwave
“As summer days get hotter every year, residents must have the ability to stay cool at home,” the ordinance reads.
“There are [a] growing number of cities in the US introducing legislation requiring landlords to provide functioning refrigerated air, and it is imperative that the City of Chicago acts now to ensure that every resident of Chicago has access to safe indoor temperatures.”
Through the ordinance, landlords of residential buildings would have to provide sufficient air conditioning so that inside temperatures would not exceed 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Per the bill:
“Every family unit and rooming unit shall have cooling facilities that are capable of safely and adequately cooling all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and water closet compartments within its walls to a temperature no hotter than 79 degrees Fahrenheit, when: (1) the outside temperature is 84 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; or (2) the heat index reaches or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Fans that do not produce refrigerated air shall not be considered as cooling facilities within the meaning of this section.”
If the proposal is accepted, the ordinance would go into effect June 2021.
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[Featured image: @timothybuck via Unsplash]