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    Monday, May 27, 2024

    Connecticut General Assembly passes mold legislation

    Hartford ― The Connecticut General Assembly has approved legislation that tasks the state Department of Public Health with developing standards for indoor mold quality in residential housing.

    State Sen. Heather Somers said in a statement that she introduced the bill after seeing issues with mold at Branford Manor, an approximately 441-unit federally subsidized housing complex in the City of Groton.

    Residents have said mold and maintenance issues in their apartments are affecting their health and quality of life. A group of residents have filed a lawsuit over their living conditions against the companies owning and operating the housing development: Branford Manor Preservation, LP; Branford Manor Preservation GP, LLC; Related Affordable, LLC; and Related Management Corporation. Related Companies, which undertook a remediation project at the apartment complex, has said it cannot comment on the litigation.

    “Branford Manor residents have complained for years about mold in their apartments, which has been found in basements, bathrooms, kitchens and throughout the units,” Somers said in a statement. “Some residents have said the mold is making them sick. There are currently no state standards for what levels of mold are safe. This legislation will establish them.”

    The legislation, which the House approved on Thursday and the Senate approved on May 18 and will next go to the governor, calls for the DPH to develop standards for indoor mold quality and for mold testing, Somers said in a phone interview Friday.

    She said the DPH also will be directed to create a public service announcement on how to prevent mold and how to remove it.

    She said once the DPH researches and develops the standards, the next step would be for the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee to hold a public hearing on the recommended standards and propose a bill to adopt the standards and how they would be implemented, such as whether it would be for all residential housing complexes or only housing developments funded by the state or federal government.

    She said ultimately the goal is to give local health districts more teeth in how they can encourage landlords that operate facilities, funded by the state or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, to take action and mitigate mold and hopefully prevent it from happening.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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