Scott Letter Leads to HUD Decision to Prevent Deaths in Public Housing

WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) released the following statement on Secretary Ben Carson’s decision to require U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspectors to check public housing apartments for carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide (CO), often referred to as a silent killer, has shortened the life of far too many people across our nation. I am glad that after my letter Secretary Carson is taking swift action to ensure that all public housing CO detectors are working at full capacity. We must do everything we can to preserve and protect life in some of our most vulnerable communities.”


Last week, Senator Scott sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson urging HUD to take action and address the ongoing carbon monoxide concerns around the country.  

In the letter, Senator Scott stated, “On January 17, 2019, two South Carolinians tragically lost their lives in entirely preventable deaths.  Calvin Witherspoon Jr. and Derrick Caldwell died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in Columbia’s Allen Benedict Court public housing…Unfortunately, this type of incident is not isolated to Columbia, South Carolina.”  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50,000 people go to the emergency room every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  The most vulnerable of our population are the most at risk, including children, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities.  Tragically, over 430 people die as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.” 

Click HERE to read the full text of the letter.