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Landlords Would Be Forced To Provide Air Conditioning Under Newly Proposed Ordinance

The measure is part of an effort to keep people safe amid climate change.

Linze Rice/DNAinfo
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CHICAGO — A newly proposed ordinance would force landlords to provide air conditioning to tenants, part of an effort to keep people safe as summers heat up due to climate change.

The legislation would require landlords to provide air conditioning so their units don’t get any warmer than 79 degrees. It was proposed Wednesday by Ald. George Cardenas (12th), chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy, and would go into effect next year if passed.

Temperatures of 80 or higher increase the risk of heat stroke and can lead to other causes of death, especially for people with preexisting conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma, Cardenas’ office said in a press release.

While Chicago experiences cool temperatures in the winter in addition to hot summers, landlords are only required to provide heating for tenants — they don’t currently have to provide air conditioning.

Cardenas said landlords should implement some of the requirements of the ordinance even before it passes.

“Because air conditioning is a basic need to get through Chicago’s hottest summer days, I am making the moral call to landlords and property managers to provide air conditioning to their tenants before this ordinance would take effect next year,” Cardenas in the press release.

Cardenas’ also introduced a resolution calling on City Council to have a hearing or hearings where it would look at solutions for combatting the urban heat island effect.

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