By Bob Katzen
This bill would prevent a landlord from restricting a tenant’s right to install or use a portable air conditioner so long as the unit is properly installed and does not violate building codes or state or federal law; violate the device manufacturer’s written safety guideline; damage the premises; and does not require amperage to power the device that cannot be accommodated by the power service to the building.
The bill also directs the Department of Housing and Community Development to analyze whether the state could apply for federal funding to provide cooling assistance for low-income households vulnerable to heat-related illness.
“Climate change is altering seasonal temperatures to a point where last summer we experienced one of the worst heat waves in recent memory,” said sponsor Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “At that time, too many residents struggling to keep up with basic cost of living expenses lacked access to proper cooling services, thereby threatening the wellbeing of senior citizens, residents with chronic health conditions, and many others. This bill would diminish barriers currently preventing access to cooling services and hopefully reduce preventable heat-related illnesses.”