COLUMBIA, South Carolina — (WLTX)-- South Carolina Senator Tim Scott sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson and within a few days big changes have been made in public housing. 

In that letter Scott asked HUD to require the federal agency to inspect public housing apartments for carbon monoxide detectors. It also noted carbon monoxide is often referred to as a silent killer.

In the letter Scott also referenced the deaths of Calvin Witherspoon Junior and Derrick Roper who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at Allen Benedict Court in Columbia. 

Now, if a public housing resident has a gas appliance or an attached garage federal inspectors must check for carbon monoxide detectors and that they are working.

Scott said the changes he asked for went into effect yesterday, but said he is shocked it happened so quickly.

"This was a blessing, an unfortunate blessing that came at the hands of a unbelievable tragedy so the response is fitting for the tragedy, but I am still very surprised," Scott said.

Scott also spoke to Dr. Carson about necessary funding to rebuild Allen Benedict Court and he said he is excited for the next round of grants.

Click here, to read the full letter from Scott to Carson. 


In our investigation, we've uncovered previous maintenance problems in the units at Allen Benedict Court, that showed there were concerns about the units well before January 17th. We have a mountain of documents related to the case, as well as interviews with residents, and we continue to present new information each day.

You can see more into our probe below: 

RELATED: Four years of Allen Benedict Court inspection reports released

RELATED: DEEP DIVE: Work orders highlight potentially life-threatening problems at Allen Benedict Court

RELATED: Deep Dive: Work orders for deceased resident's apartment

RELATED: History of issues at Allen Benedict Court Apartments

RELATED: Allen Benedict Court records show possible lack in maintenance

RELATED: Incident report reveals possible source of CO in Allen Benedict Court deaths

RELATED: 'Maybe they care, maybe they don't' Columbia Housing resident speaks out about maintenance issues

RELATED: EMS radio recordings describe moments after man was found in his apartment at Allen Benedict Court

RELATED: Fire Department: At least 7 calls for 'suspicious odors' in 2018 at Allen Benedict Court

RELATED: Allen Benedict Court work orders show history of maintenance issues at deceased resident's apartment

RELATED: 'It takes a toll': Allen Benedict mother, daughter adapting to new normal

RELATED: 'I was in the belly of Hell': ex-Allen Benedict Court resident describes living there

RELATED: Previous work orders show gas leak issues at Allen Benedict Court


There have also been multiple lawsuits filed in connection to the case. You can see our coverage of those below.

RELATED: First lawsuit filed against Columbia Housing Authority director, commission chair

RELATED: Lawsuit alleges Allen Benedict Court Resident suffered from 'gas poisoning' well before evacuations

RELATED: Two new lawsuits filed over death, injury at Allen Benedict Court apartments

RELATED: 'Grossly negligent': 1st lawsuit filed over conditions at Allen Benedict Court Apartments