Smoking Ban in Public Housing in Effect
Public housing agencies (PHAs) were required to implement smoke-free policies by July 31. The no-smoking policy applies to all public housing units, interior areas (including but not limited to hallways, rental and administrative offices, community centers, day care centers, laundry centers, and similar locations), and outdoor areas within 25 feet of public housing and administrative office buildings.
A statement issued by HUD on HUD’s smoke-free rule says the rule will protect the health of families who live in public housing, visitors to public housing and those who work in public housing. According to the statement, “This rule will also save significant amounts of money for public housing authorities. Turning over a smoker’s unit can cost more than a thousand dollars more than a non-smoker’s unit because of the additional labor and materials required. By eliminating smoking from public housing, the cost of property management and the medical costs for residents will be reduced. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates our smoke-free policies will save public housing agencies $153 million every year in repairs and preventable fires, including $94 million in secondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses.”
Owners of private, HUD-assisted multifamily properties are not required to have smoke-free policies, but HUD published Notice 2010-21 in 2010 encouraging such property owners to voluntarily implement smoke-free policies.