The below article is taken from silive.com
By Jillian Jorgensen
CITY HALL – Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill from City Councilman Steven Matteo to require mold-resistant building materials in moisture-prone areas of homes – a bill inspired by the soggy aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“This is an issue I worked on quite a bit, particularly in the aftermath of Sandy, and I think this is a very enlightened piece of legislation to help us get at a problem more fundamentally and more consistently,” de Blasio said before signing the bill in City Hall’s Blue Room.
It’s Matteo’s first piece of legislation to be signed into law. Matteo recalled touring Sandy areas with de Blasio when he was public advocate, and Matteo was a City Council staffer.
“You could see residents bringing out the boards that were wet, dripping, and you knew this wasn’t going to be good going forward, and we had to step up,” Matteo said.
The law changes building codes to require mold-resistant gypsum or cement board in flood-prone parts of homes, and also in areas like bathrooms or around washer dryers, where mold is more likely to grow.
“We’re protecting our housing stock, we’re making more resilient housing, better buildings, in a cost-efficient way, and the most important thing is providing safety for our residents,” Matteo said.
Reducing mold can also help sufferers of asthma, de Blasio said. Childhood asthma and related emergency room visits are three times higher in poorer parts of the city, and “complaints of mold infestation continue to rise.”
The mayor said he himself has asthma.
“Mine is only mild, but I can relate to families faced with asthma and children faced with asthma,” he said. “Anything we can do to reduce the amount of mold is absolutely essential to the families of this city.”
Cecil Scheib of the Urban Green Council spoke in support of the bill.
“When I think about how many kids should be exposed to mold in their homes, of course there’s only one answer — which is zero,” Scheib said.