Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Monday, bills filed in the House and Senate called for carbon monoxide detectors in all public housing units.
Now, another push is underway by organizations across the country for the same call to action.
"This is something that should have been done decades ago," said Sue Berkowitz, Director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
In another push at the powerful, Monday, the National Housing Law Project along with 16 other individuals and organizations sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
They're calling for an immediate installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all public housing units, and they ask HUD to "...reiterate Public Housing Authorities' and owners' obligations to follow state and local building and health codes".
"We're calling for it immediately with HUD," said Berkowitz. "HUD can do this."
The South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center signed on to the letter, which was also sent to Congress.
"The fact that there are absolutely no detectors in both project based and Section 8 housing is just absolutely unconscionable," said Berkowitz.
January 17, Derrick Roper and Calvin Witherspoon, Junior died from carbon monoxide poisoning at the Allen Benedict Court apartments.
The National Housing Law Project says each year, at least 430 people die in the United States from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and 50,000 are hospitalized.
"We do have housing code inspectors and the city relied on HUD to do what it was supposed to do in inspecting these units. HUD didn't do what it was supposed to do," said Berkowitz. "We need to be doing the best for all people in our city, and we did not do our best for the people who lived at Allen Benedict Court."
The letter states, the majority of the 4.6 million residents living in public housing are the elderly, people with disabilities and families with children.
"They do have regulations that have to do with encouraging carbon monoxide for safe family protection in other areas, yet for our most vulnerable citizens, they seemed to have forgotten that this was necessary," said Berkowitz.
Congressman and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn was also sent the letter.
We reached out to his folks and the regional HUD office for comment, and we are waiting to hear back.