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McKeon, Verrelli & Vainieri Huttle Bill Establishing Temperature Standards for Certain Residential Facilities Now Law

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, the Governor signed a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Anthony Verrelli and Valerie Vainieri Huttle into law on Monday that will establish temperature standards in certain housing and long-term care facilities.

Under the law (formerly bill A-3110/S-537), nursing homes, residential health care facilities and dementia care homes will 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 will ensure the building has proper ventilation and heating/cooling equipment.

The New Jersey Commissioner of Health will 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 bill becoming law, 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.”