Public housing becomes smokefree under new policy

NYCHA tenants already dealing with lead paint and toxic mold now hit with smoking ban

A nationwide smoking ban is now in effect for all public housing developments across the U.S.

Tuesday is the deadline for public housing authorities to implement smoke-free policies. It doesn't apply to e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Resident can still smoke but, if they want to, they need to be at least 25 feet away from the building.

HUD spokesperson Brian Sullivan says not only is it a public health issue, but by banning all smoking HUD expects to produce a savings of $150 million annually.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimated in 2014 that the new ban is expected yield $153 million per year in savings for government housing agencies in health-care costs and repairs. The initiative is meant to provide healthier homes to residents and healthier working environments for employees, according to an announcement from the New York City Housing Authority.


The rule will be part of leases, and residents will be required to sign amendments agreeing to abide by the ban.

"When you share a wall with someone, whatever is going on in your apartment is going to go next door", said Flowers Court Apartments manager Erica Bobo.

"You have the second-hand smoke dangers, but also the time and the cost of turning around a unit where a family has been smoking", says D.J. Haynes, the Parkersburg Housing Authority's Executive Director.

It excludes residents living in homes under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8. It doesn't, however, govern any of the other mixed-income housing properties that FWHS owns.

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