HUD Releases Notice on Public Housing Heating Standards
HUD recently released PIH Notice 2018-19, “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Implementation of Minimum Heating Standards in Public Housing Properties.” It provides implementation guidance related to the minimum heating requirements within public housing dwelling units as required by Section 111 of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). For a PHA where state or local minimum heating standards don’t exist, the PHA must use the following minimum heating requirements for public housing dwelling units in order to comply with Section 111 of HOTMA:
Minimum temperature. If PHA controlled, the minimum temperature in each unit must be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If tenant controlled, then the heating equipment must have the capability of heating to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Minimum temperature capability. PHAs are allowed flexibility in maintenance of the indoor temperature when the outdoor temperature approaches the “design day” temperature. Design day temperature refers to the lowest expected outdoor temperature that a heating system was designed to accommodate and still maintain the desired indoor temperature. This should translate, depending on local building code, to an outdoor temperature in the first to fifth percentiles of low outdoor temperatures for an area. For example, for Washington, D.C., the design day temperature is around 17° F. This means that 97.5 percent of the time the outside temperature will be at least 17° F. Therefore, a properly sized heating system in Washington, D.C., should be able to maintain a building’s indoor temperature at 68°F when it’s at least 17° F outside.
At no point should indoor temperatures in occupied space drop below 55° F. This flexibility applies when at least one of the below criteria are met:
- The outside temperature reaches or drops below the design day temperature; or
- The outside temperature is within five degrees Fahrenheit of the design day temperature for more than two continuous days.
Measurement. Temperature measurements must be taken three feet above the floor and two feet from an exterior wall in a habitable room.