Smoking ban in NYCHA starts, violators could lose apartments

NYC public housing buildings are now smoke-free

The United States Housing and Urban Development announced the new ban in November 2016, but public housing agencies had until July 31, 2018 to start enforcing it.

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.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made the ruling back of February of a year ago and provided an 18-month implementation period.

HUD says about 228,000 public housing units under more than 600 local agencies have already gone smoke-free, and the new rule will wipe out smoking in more than 940,000 other units.

The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

The rule is created to protect people in public housing from secondhand smoke.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will no longer permit the use of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes on the premises of its housing units.

"This HUD rule is estimated to save somewhere between $95 million in health care costs. There is not like good weather in the winter, so for them to have to go outside and smoke, that's a hard thing", said Bella.

Edwards said the consequences of not following this new rule will be determined by each individual housing authority whether to evict, or not.

NYCHA says the rule is designed "to improve indoor air quality, benefit the health of residents and staff, reduce the risk of fires, and lower overall maintenance costs".

MHA said it won't be going door to door acting as the smoke police, but if residents are seen smoking in their units or near them, they'll be talked to by management.

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