Feds Propose Smoking Ban In Government-Subsidized Housing

50 Housing Authorities In Wisconsin Already Have No-Smoking Policies

Daniel Hoherd (CC-BY-NC)

A federal agency which oversees public housing is proposing residential units be smoke-free.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cites potential fire hazards and the health risks of secondhand smoke.

In 2009, HUD encouraged public housing agencies to go smoke-free. Now the department is taking it a step further, with a proposed smoking ban both indoors and out. The smoke-free policy must extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the housing and administrative office buildings.

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Deborah Grayson is with the American Lung Association and promotes smoke-free housing in Wisconsin through an initiative called Clear Gains. She said more than 50 housing authorities in the state have smoke-free policies in subsidized housing.

“The biggest housing authority that has gone smoke-free is Green Bay,” said Grayson. “Beloit Housing Authority has also gone smoke-free. And then other housing authorities, like Madison, one of their buildings just went smoke-free.”

HUD is taking public comment on its smoke-free proposal over the next two months.

Tenants and employees could report smoking infractions. HUD’s proposal notes agencies have sought ways to get smoking tenants comply without evicting them.

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