Smoking ban in all public housing takes effect nationwide

NYCHA explains that the move comes in accordance with an order from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development, mandating that public housing nationwide must eliminate indoor smoking by July 30th.

The policy also extends to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the public housing and administrative office buildings.

It gave all public housing authorities until the end of this month, July 31, to come up with a smoke-free policy. Electronic or e-cigarettes are included in the ban. Tenants are still allowed to smoke on the premises, but only in certain areas.

Prohibiting smoking in public housing facilities is expected to save an estimated $497 million per year in health care and housing-related costs.

Public housing tenants must sign smoke-free contracts and can face eviction if they break the rule.

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Smoking in public housing across the US has been snuffed out.

"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. The Pennington County Housing and Redevelopment Association buildings have been smoking free since April 2017.

The new rule allows NYCHA staff and residents to report violations; enforcement will include an informal conversation to discuss the smoking ban along with the provision of educational materials.

The new smoking ban provides an extra level of protection.

It excludes residents living in homes under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8. "So for us it wasn't a new policy, it was expanding to our other properties".

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