When outside temperatures reach extreme highs and lows, people residing in assisted living residences without proper heating or cooling can experience adverse outcomes. In order to prevent these problems from taking place, Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Anthony Verrelli and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsor legislation to establish temperature standards in certain housing and long-term care facilities.
Under the bill (A-3110), nursing homes, residential health care facilities and dementia care homes would be required to make sure indoor temperatures do not exceed 81 degrees Fahrenheit or fall below 65 degrees, except in certain circumstances such as residents having individual control of the temperature in their unit. This would be done by ensuring the building has proper ventilation and heating/cooling equipment.
The New Jersey Commissioner of Health would also establish standards to ensure every rooming and boarding house in the state has an approved heating and cooling system capable of maintaining the specified temperature range.
Upon the Assembly Health Committee advancing the bill on Wednesday, Assembly sponsors McKeon (D-Essex, Morris), Verrelli (D-Hunterdon, Mercer) and Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) issued the following joint statement:
“Everyone deserves to have a home environment that is safe and comfortable. Especially when it comes to sick and elderly residents in long-term care facilities, temperature plays an important role in terms of habitability. Any residential building that cannot keep temperatures cool in the summer and warm in the winter poses a threat to the health and well-being of its occupants. Establishing minimum and maximum temperature standards will protect residents from any problems that would arise from otherwise unlivable conditions.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.