No-Smoking Rule For Federally-Subsidized Public Housing Goes Info Effect

Posted August 03, 2018

NYCHA housing is becoming officially smoke-free based on a mandate from U.S. Housing and Urban Development, requiring all public housing to disallow smoking by July 30.

This ban prohibits residents in public housing to smoke inside their homes and directs them to stand at least 25 feet from the building before smoking.

A nationwide ban on smoking in public housing facilities took effect at the end of July, almost two years after the rule was passed.

"While we believe e-cigarettes should be included in clean-air policies concerning public places, we are pleased that the new rule does not limit the use of these products in individual homes as these products provides smokers with an alternative to smoking that produces significantly less risk of individual harm".

Several hundred thousand NYCHA residents are now barred from smoking in their apartments, hallways or even outside.

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.

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"Today we celebrate this important step to protect the health of all residents in Rhode Island public housing authorities, and we know we'll see the health benefits for years to come", said Jennifer Wall, Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Rhode Island.

HUD said its smoke-free rule would reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking, saving the agency an estimated $153 million in repairs and preventable fires.

"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.

The Housing and Urban Development website's guide for local housing authorities includes strict procedures. Each housing agency can also create additional smoke-free areas if they choose.

Ince said residents were given ample time to prepare for the new rule and have their questions answered. "I don't see how we're going to push that forward when there's so much other things happening in Brownsville".

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